Women's Wellness: Cervical Cancer Screening


What Can You Do to Lower Your Chance of Getting Cervical Cancer?

  1. Get Pap smears as often as your provider recommends. Pap smears can help detect early changes, which can be treated before they turn into cervical cancer.
  2. Get the HPV vaccine. The vaccine prevents most types of HPV infection that cause cervical cancer. Your provider can tell you if the vaccine is right for you.
  3. If you smoke, quit. Smoking increases your chance of getting cervical cancer.
  4. Get the HPV test if recommended by your provider. It can be used along with the Pap test to screen for cervical cancer in women 30 years and older.
  5. Practice safer sex. Using condoms during sex reduces the risk for HPV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  6. Limit the number of sexual partners you have. Avoid partners who are active in high-risk sexual behaviors.

Most of the time, early cervical cancer has no symptoms. And, precancerous conditions can be completely cured when followed up and treated properly. Your health care provider can also do tests to find early changes that may lead to cancer, or to find cervical cancer in the early stages.

When Should You Have a PAP Smear?

Women ages 21 – 29 Pap Smear Every 3 Years
Women ages 30 – 65 Pap Smear Every 3 Years, OR
Pap Smear and HPV Test Every 5 Years
Women ages 65 through 70 Can stop having Pap Smears as long as you have had 3 normal tests in the past 10 years
You or your sexual partner has other or new partners Pap Smear Every 3 Years
Women who have been treated for pre-cancer (cervical dysplasia) Continue to have Pap Smears for 20 years after treatment or until age 65, whichever is longer

Talk with your provider about how often you should have a Pap smear.

Wear teal for Cervical Cancer support and awareness!