-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Women need to get
recommended Pap tests, while girls and young women should be
vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) to protect them from
cervical cancer, the American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists advises during Cervical Health Awareness Month.
Cervical cancer kills more than 4,000 women in the United States
each year. Many of them could have been saved by routine Pap tests,
which look for abnormal cells in the cervix that can turn into
cancer. When caught early, those abnormal cells are highly
treatable, according to the college.
More than 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed
in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer
The good news is that the rate of cervical cancer in the United
States has fallen more than 50 percent in the past three decades
due to the widespread use of the Pap test, the college says.
Cervical cancer is caused by certain strains of HPV, a common
sexually transmitted disease. HPV can also cause genital and anal
warts and cancer of the mouth, head and neck, penis and anus.
Women can help protect themselves against cervical cancer by
being monogamous, practicing safe sex and getting periodic Pap
tests. In addition, girls and young women aged 9 to 26 should
receive the HPV vaccine, the college recommends.
A young women should get her first Pap test when she turns 21
and continue having a Pap test every two years until age 30. Women
age 30 and beyond who have three consecutive negative Pap test
results can be screened once every three years, the college
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
cervical cancer prevention.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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