Let’s Talk About Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is easy to prevent and treatable. The most important things you can do to help prevent cervical cancer are to get vaccinated against HPV and get screened with a Pap test.

on January 5, 2024

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later.

When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer.

What causes cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is almost always due to HPV (human papillomavirus). HPV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that spreads through vaginal or anal sex.

A common misconception about HPV is that it only affects women, but men can get HPV, too. In fact, HPV is the most common STI in the United States. More than 40 HPV types can infect the genital areas of men and women.

What are the symptoms?

There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer. Vaginal bleeding and discharge or pelvic pain may appear later.

How do you prevent cervical cancer?

Practice Safe Sex

While HPV can infect areas a condom cannot cover, using condoms correctly every time you have sex can lower your chances of getting HPV.

Get Screened

Screening tests like a Pap test can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early.

A Pap test looks for cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated. You should start getting Pap tests at age 21.

Watch our video on What to Expect During Your First Pap Smear

Get Vaccinated

HPV vaccines, approved for both men and women in recommended age groups, can prevent infection of certain types of HPV, including HPV-related cancers.

HPV vaccination is cancer prevention

The HPV vaccine prevents cancers caused by HPV including cervical, mouth, and throat cancers. Almost every unvaccinated person who is sexually active will get HPV at some time in their life. Most HPV infections will go away on their own. But infections that don’t go away can lead to cancer. The HPV vaccine reduces your cervical cancer risk by 90%.

Early protection works best

That’s why the HPV vaccine is recommended earlier rather than later. It helps protect children long before they ever have contact with the virus. Children as young as 9 and everyone through age 26 should get the HPV vaccine.

Adults ages 27 through 45 should speak with their CCI care team about getting the HPV vaccine.



Don’t Fear the (Pap) Smear

Our “Don’t Fear the (Pap) Smear” campaign was created to empower our patients and participants to schedule a pap smear and get the HPV vaccine.
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Don’t fear the Pap smear! Call us today to schedule your cervical cancer screening.

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