90th Medical Group provides preventative health to those providing preventative security measures at Warren

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dan Gage
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
The month of January is a time of new beginnings, the start of a new year and a common time for people to make improvements in their lives.

The 90th Medical Group staff would also remind those within the community that preventative measures may also lead to an improved life.

January is cervical cancer awareness month, and women at F. E. Warren are reminded that taking action in their preventative health can lead to a healthier life in the future.

"Cervical cancer is one of the few preventable cancers," said Capt. Joaquina Fontes-Lopes, 90th Medical Group health care integrator. "We can detect the pre-cancerous cells before they fully develop into cancer through a Papanicolaou test, or Pap smear."

According to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer found in women.

Screenings are recommended for women ages 21 through 72 every three years, or every five years for women who are screened with a combination of cytology and human papillomavirus testing.

HPV, a virus which at least half of sexually active people will have at some point in their lives, is the leading cause of cervical cancer.

It is also recommended for women 40 years old or more, or women with a history of breast cancer or palpable mass to have a mammogram every one to two years.

The 90th MDG clinic staff is prepared to provide services to women at Warren to stay up to date on their women's health exams.

"Women who are due for any exams are asked to call the appointment line and schedule a meeting with their primary care provider," Fontes-Lopes said. "The providers at the clinic will perform the screenings and any follow-up procedures necessary, and we will refer individuals to an outside provider in our network if they prefer to see someone off base as well."

Approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, occurring most often in women over the age of 30, according to the Center for Disease Control.

"Though these screenings and tests may not be the most comfortable experience for some women, we ask that they have them done on a regular basis," Fontes-Lopes explained. "Every woman is unique, and their health will determine how often testing is needed. The individual's primary care provider will be able to provide how frequently they should be screened, and our staff here will ensure the most comfortable experience for our members whether they choose to be seen at our clinic or off-base."

For more information on HPV, cervical cancer or any other medical concerns, please contact Fontes-Lopes at 773-4080.

Individuals scheduling appointments for tests and screenings are asked to call the appointment line at 773-3461.