Make healthier choices in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s
by: Colleen Martin, MD Anderson Staff Writer
Misty Howell was diagnosed with human papillomavirus (HPV) when she was only 16. Ten years later, doctors diagnosed her with cervical cancer.
"Learning about HPV and its effects really helped me understand what was happening to my body and why," Misty says. Misty also believes that her HPV diagnosis helped her doctors discover and treat her cancer at the earliest possible stage, which ultimately saved her life.
Misty's story offers women an important reminder during Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January: cancer screening exams save lives.
"Practicing healthy behaviors, like getting a screening exam, is important for all women, regardless of age," says Therese Bevers, M.D., medical directior of MD Anderson's Cancer Prevention Center.
Also in this month's issue, learn about the Pap test, HPV vaccine and HPV testing. Find out how to age-proof your health in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Plus, our expert will clear up the confusion about menopause and cancer risk.