You have the power to help prevent cervical cancer.
• Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). An HPV vaccine is available for females between the ages of 9 and 26. It protects against the types of HPV that are most closely associated with cervical cancer.
• Cervical cancer develops slowly and starts as a precancerous condition called dysplasia. Dysplasia involves abnormal cells on the cervix and is a treatable condition.
• A pap smear can detect dysplasia. Women who get regular pap tests and follow up abnormal pap tests as advised by their doctor are less likely to develop cervical cancer.
• There are other things you can do to reduce your risk of cervical cancer, including not smoking, using condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners you have.
• Cervical cancer often causes no symptoms until it has spread or until the disease is in an advanced stage, so seeing your healthcare provider for routine pap smear tests is of great importance.
To learn more about preventing cervical cancer and scheduling a pap smear, talk with your doctor. Need to find one? Use our online Find a Physician service or call us at 1-855-80PLAZA for a referral.