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Be your own advocate: get educated and get tested for HPV  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

As moms who are busy, we are usually the last ones that we take care of. We're so busy running the household, managing our careers, helping with homework, and more, that taking care of ourselves usually falls by the wayside.

I am in no means a perfect mom, but I've always made sure to take care of myself and schedule regular physicals and I see the doctor whenever I suspect something is wrong. I was told by a wise woman once, "If you don't take of yourself, who else will?"

Not only is it important that we make doctor's appointments for ourselves, but it is imperative that we educate ourselves.

Recently a vaccination against HPV (Human Papillomavirus) became available on the market for our daughters - limited to ages 9 to 26 - but many of us don't fall into those categories. What is there for those of us who are over the age of 26?

We do have options. First of all, make sure you are getting a yearly Pap Smear. This is the first line of defense against HPV and other reproductive diseases. Second, ask your doctor for a Digene HPV test along with your Pap Test. This test uses the same sample as the Pap and identifies women who are at risk for developing cervical cancer. The HPV test is especially important if you are 30 and over.

The HPV test website is very useful and interactive and may answer any questions you may have, especially with the HPV Test vs. The Pap FAQ section. There are also tips and items available for viewing on the website such as videos and educational materials.

Remember: YOU are your best advocate. Be proactive. Get educated. Get tested.

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of the QIAGEN digene HPV test. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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