Cervical cancer is a preventable disease. It’s the most common type of gynecologic cancer in women worldwide, and it’s also the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women.
If you’re between the ages of 18 and 64, you should get vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) when you’re up to age 26. Vaccines protect your body from more than just one type of HPV. Regular screening tests can detect abnormal changes in your cervix that might be precursors to cancer and early enough to treat them.
Vaccination against HPV is recommended for preteens aged 11 to 12 years, but it can be given starting at age 9. In addition, everyone through age 26 years who are not vaccinated already should get the vaccine. The HPV vaccine also is recommended for everyone through age 26, if they are not vaccinated yet. It is not recommended for everyone older than 26 years, but some adults may want to get the vaccine if they have not already been exposed to HPV and are concerned about cancer risk.
Screening Tests can help find Treatment For Cervical Cancer early and prevent it from happening. Many women do not get Pap and HPV tests – these can help screen for cancer. Screening tests are recommended every 3 years and offer immediate results, as well as long-term benefits of keeping your cervix healthy by getting rid of any cell changes that might become cancer. If you have a low income or do not have health insurance, you may be able to get free or low-cost screening tests through CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Find out if you qualify.
Steps to Help Prevent Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States, and worldwide it has one of the highest death rates. A cervix is a small organ that is located at the top of your uterus and inside of your body. The cervix is also where cervical cancer starts most often. Cervical cancer grows slowly, over time. There are no symptoms until it spreads through your body and causes serious problems affecting many different organs, such as your lungs, heart, stomach and brain.
These things may also help lower your risk for cervical cancer—
- Don’t smoke.
- Use condoms during sex.*
- Limit your number of sexual partners.
Cervical cancer is caused by HPV infection, so protection is key. When used correctly, latex condoms offer a high level of protection against HPV infection. The CDC recommends that all sexually active men and women protect themselves in two ways:—Joining PAP, or Getting the HPV vaccine. Choose your method wisely.
Treatment of Cervical Cancer
Radiation therapy for cancer is a common form of treatment. It includes both radiation and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy for cervical cancer can be given to the vagina, cervix, and surrounding area. The radiation treatments are given 5 days a week for about 5 weeks.
It is important for both men and women to protect themselves. HPV infection can occur in both male and female genital areas that are covered or protected by a latex condom, as well as in areas that are not covered. While the effect of condoms in preventing HPV infection is unknown, condom use has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer.