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The updated 2012 guidelines for the timing of cervical cancer screening (otherwise known as your "pap smear") have drastically changed from the 2007 guidelines.

  1. No screening pap smear under the age of 21.
  2. Women age 21 to 65, screening every 3 years.
  3. Women age 30 to 65 may opt to screen every 5 years with combination cytology and HPV testing.
  4. Women over age 65 may cease screening.
  5. Women who have had a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix no longer require screening.
  6. The above recommendations apply to those women have had adequate prior screening and are not high risk for cervical cancer. Each individual will have their treatment plan modified based on their personal history and risk factors.

We stress the importance of continuing annual examinations for breast examinations, pelvic examinations, and annual blood work if required.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) and the American Cancer Society / American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology / American Society for Clinical Pathology (ACS / ASCCP / ASCP)

- In June 2006, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer caused by certain types of genital human papillomavirus (HPV). The vaccine, Gardasilâ, protects against four HPV types, which together cause 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently licensed this vaccine for use in girls/women, ages 9-26 years. The vaccine is given through a series of three shots over a six-month period. The HPV vaccine is now available.

PDFClick here for the PDF.

- The HPV vaccine is now available.

- Progesterone therapy for prevention of preterm labor in at risk patients.
PDFClick here for the PDF.


- Zika Update

Zika is a virus spread by mosquitos (the Aedes species). These mosquitos bite during the day and night. The virus can be spread from person to a person (via sexual contact) and from a mother to her fetus during pregnancy. Infection with Zika may or may not produce symptoms. If symptoms occur, they are usually mild and spontaneously resolve. Infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. At this point, there is not a vaccine or medication to prevent or treat the virus.

We do encourage you to take active steps to prevent mosquito bites. Covering exposed skin with long sleeves/pants, using EPA registered DEET containing mosquito repellents as directed, wearing permetherine-treated clothing/gear, staying in air-conditioned spaces, and using mosquito netting when appropriate are all ways you can reduce your risk of contracting the Zika virus.

We also encourage our patients to avoid Zika areas if they are pregnant or planning pregnancy in the next year. According to the Center for Disease Control, local mosquito-borne viral transmission HAS been reported in Texas (Brownsville area) as well as Florida. The virus has been well established in American Samona, Peurto Rico, the US Vrigin Islands, many Carribean countries, Central and South American countries, Mexico, some Pacific Island countries, and Singapore. Please check the CDC website for the most up to date information on epidemic and endemic infections at

If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant within the next year, please discuss Zika with your doctor if you or your partner has travelled to an area of concern. Testing may be indicated, or we may encourage you to postpone a planned pregnancy. We can help you time things to help keep you and your future babies safe and healthy!