Cancer testing important for health

Flora Wong
Staff Writer

Early cervical and testicular cancer detection screenings are recommended for college students, according to the University health center.

However, some college students still question whether they should worry about cancer at this stage in life.

Cervical cancer is spread through sexual contact, however, there are vaccines to help prevent the disease.

“You can get the genital human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine if you are age 26 or younger, which protects against (some) types of HPV that causes cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva in women and cancers of the penis in men,” said Dr. Angela Cerlin, a family medicine doctor practicing in Rowland Heights.

Cerlin also recommends that college students get screenings every year.

HPV vaccines are available from physicians or at a variety of locations, including Walgreens or FPA Women’s Health Centers.

The series of HPV shots given over a six-month period are recommended by some doctors for people between age 9 to 26, according to the University of La Verne health center.

While the on-campus health center does not provide comprehensive cancer screenings, it provides physical examinations, including Pap smears, which is the test for cervical cancer. The center also offers testicular cancer screenings for men.

Vital signs such as pulse, breathing rate, body temperature and blood pressure are recorded, along with such screenings.

The health center averages 20 to 25 appointments daily for physicals and different inquiries, said Cynthia Denne, director of student health services..“Individuals, especially students, need to take responsibility for their health and take the actions to check for cancer,” Denne said. “It’s important to have annual exams.”

The health center also provides pamphlets and other educational resources at no charge and ensures all information is confidential.

Nicholas Guerrero, senior business administration major, said he has never gotten a testicular screening because he feels there is no need to.

“I am sure there is some statistical analysis out there saying everyone should get screened, so I feel that eventually I will make my way in to get the necessary screenings,” Guerrero said. “It’s one of those things that’s on the list but not a high priority.”

Senior business administration major Samantha Brenner has never gone to the health center, but has a primary doctor she sees every six months.

“I never had a screening for cancer because I didn’t think my age would apply to it but I do understand now that early detection is better,” Brenner said.

Flora Wong can be reached at yuenyuen.wong@laverne.edu.

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