Premier Women's Healthcare of Delta Offers Paps and Cervical Cancer Screenings

In honor of cervical cancer month during January, Dr. Patrick Pevoto, board certified obstetrics and gynecological physician at Delta County Memorial Hospital's Premier Women's Healthcare of Delta offered these facts and figures about cervical cancer.

Each year in the United States approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, which is a disease now recognized and aggressively treated with the use of screening tests and vaccinations for women who have access to care. In the US more than 4,000 women die each year from cervical cancer. In developing nations around the world however, 80 percent of women with cervical cancer end up dying. "This is a sad occurrence since cervical cancer is totally preventable with proper screening," commented Patrick Pevoto, MD, MBA.

Cervical cancer is the first cancer to be linked to infection from a virus. The virus responsible for this cancer is called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is transmitted from person to person via skin contact (not contact with body fluids), and can be spread even if vaginal intercourse is avoided and/or latex condoms are used.
According to Dr. Pevoto, the HPV virus can be contracted from one sexual partner, remain dormant, and then later be unknowingly transmitted to another sexual partner, including a spouse. One high risk HPV type (type 16) has been linked to cancers of the head and neck. "The majority of women with an HPV infection will not develop cervical cancer, but routine Pap tests are important," Dr. Pevoto stated.

In younger women HPV has a good chance of clearing the body on its own, usually over six years, without any specific treatment other than regular and vigilant visits to their women's health physician for Pap smears. "For women over the age of 30 the virus may not clear; it is therefore imperative that women of all ages continue to be screen with Pap smears on a regular basis," said Dr. Pevoto.

An exciting breakthrough has taken place with the advent of a cervical cancer vaccine. It may be administered to females between the ages of nine and 26, and only requires three doses to become effective. Although this vaccine has been available for over 10 years, sadly only 35 percent of eligible women have chosen to take the three doses of vaccine as a preventative to cervical cancer, according to the OB/GYN physician. Pap smears have become more reliable and accurate with the use of liquid-based preparations available since 1996, and now are almost universally available across the US.

"Ladies now is the time to make that annual women's health check up and to get a Pap smear," said Dr. Pevoto.

Delta County Memorial Hospital's Premier Women's Healthcare of Delta physicians including Joyce McKenney, MD, MPH, board certified GYN; Andrea Keller, DO OB-GYN and Patrick Pevoto, MD, MBA board certified OB-GYN. Openings are available to take new and existing patients for women's health exams and screenings now. The women's health practice offers Gardisil -(the vaccine for pr4vention of most HPV infections) to women who qualify. Premier Women's Healthcare of Delta uses state of the art screening methods and protocols to ensure that the best evaluation of each patient is performed. The office is located at 236 Cottonwood Street in Delta. For appointments call (970) 874-7930.

Dr. Patrick Pevoto has over 26 years of professional expertise as an OB-GYN. He relocated to Delta from Austin, TX in June of 2012. In addition to offering OB/GYN services to area women, he specializes in minimally invasive women's surgeries.