January Is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Whats new? Prevention, vaccination, early detection, and treatment advances for cervical cancer.

As the month of January brings cervical cancer into focus, it’s time to increase public understanding of the disease, including its prevalence, approaches to screening and prevention, treatment options, and resources that offer updated cervical cancer information throughout the year.

Cervical cancer affects the cervix, the part of the body that connects the uterus (or womb) to the vagina (or birth canal). Each year in the United States, more than 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and approximately 4,000 women will die of the disease.(1)

Certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV), most commonly HPV 16 and HPV 18, are linked to cervical cancer, and several other high-risk types of HPV also contribute to cancer. Vaccines such as Gardasil® and Cervarix™ that are designed to prevent infection with high-risk types of HPV have the potential to greatly reduce the occurrence of cervical cancer and are now recommended for use in both young women and men.

Staying informed with the latest news on prevention and screening is an important step in reducing your risk of developing cervical cancer, while access to current, in-depth treatment information can help you choose optimal care and achieve the best possible outcome from treatment.

Learning More About Cervical Cancer

  • Vaccination: There are currently two FDA-approved HPV vaccines. Both protect against HPV-16 and HPV-18, the predominant cancer-causing HPV types, HPV-16 and 18, cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers. They are given in a series – three injections over six months. They’re recommended to be used between the ages of nine and 26, 27 but are best given to younger girls before sexual debut, generally 11- and 12-year-olds. In fact 11- and 12-year-olds get a platform of standard immunizations. And the CDC and the government and all these groups, pediatricians, the OB/GYN doctors have recommended that this be integrated into that 11-and 12-year-old platform.
  • Advances in Robotic Surgery for Cervical Cancer
  • Screening Recommendations: Cervical cancer screening consists of two tests. Both the Pap test as well as an HPV test. The HPV virus can be detected right from the cervix. It’s done with a swab or it can be collected from the liquid Pap test. Some Pap tests are collected in a liquid. Because the vaccines do not prevent all HPV infections, it’s recommended that cervical cancer screening continues even after vaccination.Just because a woman has been vaccinated doesn’t mean she doesn't need to be screened anymore. and that could be dangerous.

Three years after becoming sexually active with vaginal intercourse begin screening.

  • Pap test annually
  • Liquid-based Pap test every two years

Age 21, all women should begin screening

  • Pap test annually
  • Liquid-based Pap test every two years

Age 30, women who have had three normal Pap tests may decrease screening to every two years or every three years in conjunction with a human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test.

Reference:

  1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures. Available at . (Accessed January 2019).

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