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Cervical Cancer Awareness Month


Each year, approximately 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer. It occurs most often in women over 30, but all women are at risk. Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent with regular screening tests and follow-up, and is highly curable when found and treated early.

Human papilloma virus, or HPV, is a lead cause of cervical cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, women who regularly get tested for HPV are the least likely to get cervical cancer.

There are two tests that can either help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:

  • The Pap test looks for pre-cancerous cell changes on the cervix that can be treated so that cervical cancer is prevented entirely. It can also detect cervical cancer early when treatment is most effective.
  • The HPV test looks for HPV, which can cause pre-cancerous cell changes and cervical cancer.

Because cervical cancer may not cause signs or symptoms early on, it is important to get both Pap and HPV tests. Screening guidelines for cervical cancer and HPV vary based on your age and medical history. Talk to your doctor for more information about screening for HPV and cervical cancer.