As January's observance of Cervical Health Awareness Month places the spotlight on cervical cancer, Vitals.com is alleviating some of the anxiety associated with gynecological check-ups by enabling women to choose the doctor perfectly tailored to meet their medical needs. Vitals is the first, online doctor evaluation service to provide consumers with full access to comprehensive and unbiased information on more than 720,000 active doctors nationwide.
Vitals enables consumers to streamline their medical research with a no-cost and user-friendly database featuring nearly two dozen quality measures on each doctor, including: medical education and training; hospital affiliation; board certification; volume of procedures performed; and disciplinary actions, sanctions and malpractice cases. Consumers can also use Vitals to check-up on their current doctors, find a new doctor by using a unique symptom checker and side-by-side comparisons, and review peer evaluations and patient feedback.
"Selecting the right doctor for any gynecological need can be a very challenging and time consuming exercise, with no guarantee of success," said Christine Parlamis, Vice President of Vitals. "Vitals takes the uncertainty out of the process by providing women with important quality of care information on physicians so that they can make an informed decision before stepping into the doctor's office."
Although cervical cancer is the fifth leading cause of death in women from cancer, it is also one of the most preventable illnesses, according to Todd Rosengart, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Advisor of MDX Medical, which created Vitals. Closely linked to several types of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer is triggered by abnormal cell development in the cervix. Women who miss regular gynecological check-ups and Pap tests used to detect these cell abnormalities are at-risk for the potentially fatal illness. In fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that between 60 and 80 percent of American women with newly diagnosed invasive cervical cancer have not had a Pap test in the past five years, and many of these women have never had a Pap test at all.
"One of the most disturbing aspects about cervical cancer is that it often goes unnoticed and untreated because the symptoms are minimal and mimic so many other conditions common in women such as premenstrual syndrome," said Dr. Rosengart. "Yet, early detection improves the likelihood that treatment will be successful and prevents early cervical cell changes from becoming cancerous. As a physician, I urge my female patients to have regular Pap tests. Now they and all women nationwide have Vitals.com to help them make one of the most important decisions of their lives." Dr. Rosengart also serves as Chief of Cardiothoracic Survey at Stony Brook University Medical Center, has authored more than 100 scientific publications and is recognized internationally for his advancements in the field of cardiac surgery.