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21st Century Oncology Blog

Apple A Day


21st Century Oncology Blog

Cervical Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

January 25, 2016

This year, an estimated 12,900 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 4,100 patients will die from the disease. Physicians agree that the key to beating cervical cancer is prevention and early detection. In fact, when detected early, it is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.

Screening tests, including a regular Pap smear, offer women and their doctors the best chance at detecting the disease early. Abnormal cell changes can actually be caught in their pre-cancerous state and removed, before they have a chance to turn into cervical cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women adhere to the following guidelines for testing:

  • All women should begin regular cervical cancer testing at age 21. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get tested every 3 years.
  • Beginning at age 30, an annual Pap test should be combined with an HPV test every 5 years. This should continue until age 65.
  • Women who are at high risk for cervical cancer may need to be screened more often. They should follow the recommendations of their physician.
  • Women who have tested positive for the HPV virus or have had abnormal screening results may need to be tested more often.

Despite the recognized benefits of screening, many American women don’t take advantage of it. In fact, most cervical cancers are found in women who have never had a Pap test, or who have not had one recently.

For more information on cervical cancer and treatment options go to https://www.21co.com/radiation-therapy/types-of-cancer/cervical.