Three of the area’s leaders in women’s health joined together for a presentation at Castleview Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. David Bradshaw, M.D., Hollie Stapley, PA-C, and Danielle Pendergrass, WHNP-BC, all took time at the luncheon to speak to those in attendance about women’s health, specifically cervical cancer.
Pendergrass began by explaining the cervical cancer screening guidelines set forth by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, otherwise known as the ASCCP. These guidelines balance optimum cancer detection with minimal harms and reduce unnecessary follow ups.
Attendees then were informed on the timeline for screening, which begins at age 21 and spans to the age of 65.
“It used to be that if you wanted birth control, you needed to get a pap smear,” Pendergrass explained. “Now, there are no pap smears under the age of 21. We just educate and vaccinate.”
The mention of vaccinations led to Stapley’s presentation, which revolved around the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination. The vaccine serves to prevent most cases of cervical cancer. While the vaccine is long lasting, this does not eliminate the need for women to receive regular screenings.
The vaccine is available for males and females and vaccination can begin as early as age nine in children. For optimum effectiveness, most recommend vaccination around the age of 11-12, but most insurances cover the vaccine’s cost up to age 26.
Bradshaw took the stage next as he guided attendees through the stages of cervical cancer, showing examples and answering questions for hose in attendance.
Bradshaw finished the presentation, stressing the importance of regular screenings according to ASCCP guidelines.
Screenings can be scheduled with Pendergrass by calling Eastern Utah Women’s Health at (435) 637-0313. The office of Bradshaw and Stapley can be reached at (435) 613-2229.