Cervical Cancer: Know the Facts
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer happens if abnormal cells in the cervix grow uncontrollably. Cervical cancer takes years to develop. It can be prevented if early changes in the cervix are found and treated.
What are the risk factors for developing cervical cancers?
According to the National Cancer Institute, strong risk factors include:
- Infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sex. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives, but not all will result in cervical cancer.
- Sexual behaviors – early age of first intercourse and history of multiple sexual partners.
- Tobacco use – women who smoke are about twice as likely as non-smokers to get cervical cancer.
- Women whose mothers were given the drug Diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage.
How can I prevent cervical cancer?
- Get the HPV vaccine. It protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. The vaccine is recommended for girls and women up to age 26.
- See your doctor regularly for a Pap test that can find cervical
- Follow up with your doctor, if your Pap test results are not normal.
- Don’t smoke.
- Use condoms during sex.
- Limit your number of sexual partners.
Talk to your Generations healthcare provider to learn more about how to prevent this disease.