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Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is when there is abnormal cell growth that begins in the lower part of a woman’s uterus (the cervix). Most cervical cancer is caused by spread of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Cervical cancer: what you should know

  • If caught early, your doctor can successfully treat cervical cancer. By having regular Pap tests and HPV tests, your doctor can test for early signs of this disease.
  • Women who are 26 and younger may opt to have a vaccine to help protect against cervical cancer. The Centers for Disease Control advises that boys and girls begin getting vaccinated around 11 or 12.
  • You can get HPV, which often leads to cervical cancer, through sex. Reduce your HPV risk by using latex condoms and limiting your number of sexual partners.
  • Smoking increases your risk of getting cervical cancer. 

How can I get help for cervical cancer?

Call your primary care doctor or OB-GYN if you have cervical cancer symptoms (which may be a sign of a less serious problem) such as unusual vaginal discharge and bleeding.

Also talk to your primary care doctor or OB-GYN if you need the following:

  • Pap test: to look for abnormal cells on the cervix
  • HPV test
  • HPV vaccination