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Cervical Cancer – An Easy Target with Regular Screenings

9/28/2018

All women are at risk for cervical cancer. It does not have signs or symptoms in the early stages, so getting screened is important. Cervical cancer is the easiest women’s cancer to prevent with regular screening tests and follow-up. Two of these tests are:

  1. The Pap Test (Pap Smear) looks for pre-cancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. and/or
  2. The HPV Test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.

It is recommended that women of average risk ages 21-65 receive a Pap test every three years. Women ages 30-65 should be screened with a combination of a Pap test and HPV (human papilloma virus) test every five years.

Risk factors for cervical cancer are:

  • Having HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
  • Smoking
  • Having HIV (the virus that causes AIDs) or another condition that makes it hard for your body to fight off health problems
  • Using birth control pills for a long time (five or more years)
  • Having given birth to three or more children

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention