Cervical Cancer

Can cervical cancer be prevented?

A Answers (5)

  • Three vaccines have been approved to protect against the two strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that are linked to most cases of cervical cancer. The vaccines are recommended for girls and young women between 11 and 26 years old, but can be given starting at nine years of age. Discuss with your healthcare provider whether an HPV vaccine is right for you or other women in your family. Regular screening, such as a Pap test, is still recommended since the vaccines do not cover all types of HPV that may cause cervical cancer.
  • A answered

    Many cervical cancer cases are caused by exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted disease. HPV affects up to 80 percent of females and males in their lifetime. Many cases of HPV clear on their own, but certain types of HPV can cause cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer in females. This is why it is important to get the HPV vaccine before sexual activity begins. Because there are other risk factors for cervical cancer, Penn Medicine gynecologists recommend several methods to prevent cervical cancer. Regular screenings, vaccines for preventing the human papilloma virus (HPV) and lifestyle choices can prevent cervical cancer or help find cervical cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable.

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  • The best method of prevention for cervical cancer is to have regular pap tests. This screening test will help to detect irregular cells at their earliest stages, long before any signs or symptoms may show up. The use of pap tests has significantly decreased the number of deaths associated with cervical cancer since it was developed. There is also a test for infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer. The next method to prevent cervical cancer is to get vaccinated for HPV if you are in the age range of pre-teen to mid-twenties where the vaccine is most advantageous. Although relatively new, the HPV vaccine could prevent nearly three-quarters of the occurrences of cervical cancer. Stop - or do not start - smoking. That will reduce your risk, as will practicing safe sex by using condoms and being smart about your sexual partners. This may prevent exposure to HPV, although HPV can be spread by contact with the skin of an infected person, not only during intercourse.
  • Most cases of cervical cancer are easily preventable with regular screening tests and follow-up. It also is highly curable when found and treated early. Now vaccines are available to protect against the most common cause of cervical cancer.

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  • A Gynecologic Oncology, answered on behalf of

    Get HPV vaccinations if you are between 9-26 years old. Begin pap smear screening after 21 years old and co-testing with pap and HPV starting at 30 years old every 3-5 years. It is unlikely one will develop cervical cancer with this screening process. The only other thing is to not to smoke.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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How can I prevent cervical cancer?