Cancer cervix - screening; HPV - cervical cancer screening; Dysplasia - cervical cancer screening; Cervical cancer - HPV vaccine
Cervical cancer is a cancer that starts in the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina.
There is a lot you can do to decrease your chance of having cervical cancer. Also, your health care provider can do tests to find early changes that may lead to cancer, or to find cervical cancer in the early stages.
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV (human papilloma virus).
HPV can be passed from person to person even when there are no visible warts or other symptoms.
Dysplasia is fully treatable. That is why it is important for women to get regular Pap smears, so that precancerous cells can be removed before they can become cancer.
Pap smear screening should start at age 21. After the first test:
Talk with your provider about how often you should have a Pap smear or HPV test.
A vaccine is available to protect against the HPV types that cause most cervical cancer in women. The vaccine is:
These safer sex practices can also help reduce your risk of getting HPV and cervical cancer:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Human papillomavirus (HPV). Clinician factsheets and guidance.
Salcedo MP, Baker ES, Schmeler KM. Intraepithelial neoplasia of the lower genital tract (cervix, vagina, vulva): etiology, screening, diagnosis, management. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 28.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Committee on Adolescent Health Care, Immunization Expert Work Group. Committee Opinion Number 704, June 2017.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website. Draft evidence review for cervical cancer: screening, October 2017.
Review Date: 9/28/2017
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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