“Despite the fact that we have screening tests and vaccines that can potentially eliminate Cervical Cancer, every year more than 12,000 women are diagnosed with the disease and more than 4,000 die in the United States alone.” said Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH). “Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act now requires insurance plans to cover cervical cancer screening tests at no cost to women, making essential medical care more accessible. As a school of Holistic Health, we encourage both male and female students to talk to the women in their lives (Mothers, Sisters, Girlfriends, etc.) about the importance of regular screening for early detection and treatment” she added.
The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), dedicated to helping women with or at risk for Cervical Cancers, says access to proper medical care is only part of the solution. Getting women to feel comfortable talking about sexual health with their health care provider is still their greatest challenge. That’s why they recommend women choose a healthcare provider that is open-minded, straight-forward, non-judgmental, honest and a good listener; so he/she is someone to be trusted. If one is uncomfortable with their Doctor for any reason, they should ask friends for other recommendations or visit MedlinePlus on-line. MedlinePlus provides links to directories for healthcare professionals, services and facilities at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/directories.html.
In order for a Doctor to answer questions and provide advice regarding one’s sexual health, he/she will need to ask some very personal questions about sexual history. This history may include your sexual practices, use of birth-control, chance of pregnancy, and any symptoms you may be experiencing. Having this on-going discussion with your Doctor will allow him/her to assess your risk for STIs/STDs and offer appropriate advice and treatment.
To help men and women start a conversation about sexual health with their health care providers, the NCCC has developed a guide which includes 10 questions sexually active persons should ask. A summary of those questions is provided below:
- Am I taking the right steps to protect myself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- How do I start a conversation with my partner about STIs?
- I want my partner and I to be tested for STIs before we have sex. How do I bring up the topic and where should we go?
- After hearing about my relationship history, should I be tested for STDs/STIs and if so, which ones?
- How often should I be tested for STIs, and which STIs should I test for?
- Which vaccines might I consider taking to protect myself from STIs? Which vaccines are recommended for me?
- What are my birth control options and how can I bring up that topic with my partner?
- My feelings about sex have changed, can we talk about possible causes?
- What sexual health screenings are recommended for me at my age? (Prostate Cancer, Mammograms, STIs, etc.)
- I’m not always comfortable with how my partner treats me, can we discuss that?
To learn more about HPV and Cervical Cancer, visit the National Cervical Cancer Coalition’s website at www.nccc-online.org/hpvcervical-cancer/cervical-health-awareness-month/ .
HHSHH has been serving residents in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 24 years and is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California. To date, we have prepared more than 6,000 students for successful and rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health. To learn more about the 80 + classes offered, or to explore if a career in massage therapy is right for you, call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or visit us online at www.healinghandsschool.com.