Although rates of cervical cancer have decreased thanks significantly to the use of Pap tests for women, the condition continues to affect almost 20,000 women each year. Invasive cervical cancer can spread to surrounding organs, such as your uterus, bones, lymph nodes, bladder, lungs, intestines, and liver. Cervical cancer can be prevented if the pre-cancerous state of the disease is found early via a Pap test and screening for human papillomavirus (HPV).
Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer
Here are some statistics about cervical cancer that help you understand your level of risk.
- Most cervical cancer cases occur in women who are between 35 and 44 years old.
- Although rare, cervical cancer can develop in women who are 20 years old or younger.
- Hispanic women represent the highest occurrence of cervical cancer.
- Alaskan Native and American Indian women experience the fewest cases of cervical cancer.
- Women who are over 65 years old may still be at risk for cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer Screenings
Public health recommendations have changed for Pap tests and HPV screenings. Women who are under 29 years old should have a Pap test every three years. For those who are between 30 and 65 years old, the test should be performed every five years and combined with an HPV screening. If you are 65 or older, your gynecologist will explain how often you need to be screened for early signs of cervical cancer.
The Truth About HPV
Cervical cancer is caused by HPV, and many myths exist about the virus. Anyone can contract HPV, regardless of sexual practices and the number of partners. Some people carry a dormant version of the virus that produces no symptoms, yet the virus can be passed on to sexual partners. Therefore, HPV screenings are essential to protect yourself from cervical cancer.
Learn More About Cervical Cancer Screenings. Contact Columbus Women’s Care.
To learn more about cervical cancer screenings or to schedule your Pap test, HPV screening, contact Columbus Women’s Care today. We also offer menopause treatment, contraception, and other gynecology services. We have locations in Columbus, Lewis Center and Canal Winchester, and you can contact us directly at (614) 755-4200.