Recommended Screening for Women

2024. June 5.

Women are recommended to undergo cancer screening annually and also to request HPV screening. A common question among women and mothers is, at what age should gynaecological screening begin? According to Dr. Dániel Dubecz, an obstetrician-gynaecologist at Dr. Rose Private Hospital, the need for screening is not determined by age. Instead, it is crucial for women and girls who are sexually active to have regular gynaecological screening. The general rule, whether for young girls or older women, is to have a gynaecological exam and screening once a year if there are no symptoms. Annual cancer screening is recommended from the start of sexual activity, along with HPV screening. Additionally, women over 35 should have a mammogram every two years.

Hüvelyszárazság intim lézerrel

HPV Vaccination

HPV, or human papillomavirus, can lead to cervical cancer over the years, making screening and the preventive HPV vaccination important. The generation that received the HPV vaccine at a young age has not yet matured, resulting in relatively low overall vaccination rates, though progress is being made. Today, the vaccine is recommended not only for girls but also for boys, and can be administered at any age up to seventy.

Importance of Annual Check-ups

Annual check-ups are critical because if a woman’s test results are negative one year but abnormalities are found the next, early detection significantly improves the chances of successful treatment compared to detecting changes later on. Dr. Dubecz explains that if both the HPV infection risk is high, and cytology results warrant it, minor surgery can entirely prevent cervical cancer by removing the surface epithelium of the cervix, similar to the removal of a mole under anaesthesia.

Asymptomatic Cases

Unfortunately, there are no warning signs specific to HPV infection that would alert a patient or their doctor. General symptoms exist, but a positive result can appear even in completely asymptomatic individuals, which is why it is recommended to supplement annual cytological exams with HPV screening.

Considerations During Menopause

In addition to gynaecological checks, mammography and bone density testing are advised starting from the onset of the menopause to identify potential rheumatological or other conditions. Many women experience menopausal symptoms and may not know which specialist to consult, as this can be an cover internal medicine, endocrinology, gynaecology, and rheumatology. All relevant specialists should evaluate the patient’s condition to determine the need for hormone replacement therapy, which is generally recommended until the age of 60-65. However, screening should continue even beyond this age, Dr. Dubecz emphasizes.

Screening and Vaccination

Older patients sometimes believe that they don’t need HPV screening if they are not sexually active or are in a monogamous relationship. However, HPV can be transmitted non-sexually, at swimming pools or beaches, for example. There might also be a dormant HPV infection from years earlier that was not previously detected. Dr. Dubecz notes that younger women tend to visit their gynaecologist more regularly either for contraception or other concerns, leading to earlier detection of abnormalities, compared to older women who might not feel as motivated to go for screening. Fortunately, awareness about the importance of regular gynaecological screening is increasing through various channels like television and social media, leading more women to take advantage of these preventive measures.