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Cervical Cancer

Can Cervical Cancer be Prevented?

Last modified: 
20/03/2012 - 18:16

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Early-stage cervical cancer and precancerous cervical conditions are almost 100% curable.

The most common forms of cervical cancer begin with changes in cervical cells.

If these changes are detected early enough, treatment can be started immediately to prevent cervical cancer from developing.

The best way to detect early cervical cancer and precancerous conditions of the cervix is to have a gynecologic examination and Pap test.

Nice To Know:

The American Cancer Society recommends that a woman have her first annual Pap test when she becomes sexually active or reaches the age of 18.

Because cervical cancer usually progresses slowly, some physicians feel that a woman doesn't need to have a Pap test every year if she:

  • Is 65 years of age or older
  • Has had normal Pap tests for three years in a row

 

Many experts recommend a Pap test every three years for women who have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) for reasons unrelated to cervical disease.

Nice To Know:

Women who have cervical cancer risk factors and who don't have regular gynecologic examinations are increasingly likely to:

  • Develop cervical carcinoma in situ between the ages of 30 and 40
  • Develop invasive cervical cancer between the ages of 40 and 50

 

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.