Cervical Cancer Facts
There are over 15 million pages of information on the Internet related to cervical cancer. Here, you will find links to the very best information available.
In Oregon, two women per week are diagnosed with cervical cancer and one woman per week dies of cervical cancer.
The mortality rate for cervical cancer is increasing in Oregon, even as it decreases nationally.
According to Making the Grade on Women’s Health, the national women’s health report card co-authored by OHSU physician and researcher Michelle Berlin, M.D., M.P.H., Oregon ranks in the bottom ten states in the percentage of women in who undergo routine Pap screening.
Cervical cancer mortality could be virtually eradicated in Oregon through widespread use of two techniques: regular Pap tests for early detection and the use of vaccines.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Facts
Cervical cancer starts in the tissue or the glands that are part of a woman’s cervix (the part of the uterus that opens into the vagina). Most cases are caused by certain types of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Most women in the United States have been exposed to HPV at some point in their lives — and most do not get cervical cancer. However, in some women, HPV causes cell changes that can eventually lead to cervical cancer.
The good news is that cervical changes sometimes caused by HPV can be effectively detected through Pap tests and other screenings – and a new vaccine for girls and young women can help prevent the virus.
Here’s what you need to know to keep you, your mother and your daughters safe:
Screenings are effective for women of all ages.
Check with your health care provider about how often you need a Pap test, the most effective screening test for cervical cancer. Beginning at age 21, a Pap test every two years is right for many women.
Some women over 30 may benefit from a new screening test for HPV in addition to a Pap test. Ask your health care provider if this option might be right for you.
When invasive cervical cancer is detected, it is most often found in women who have not had regular screenings.
More cervical cancer prevention information
HPV Vaccine FactsThe HPV Vaccine is an important tool for preventing cervical cancer.
A new vaccine, approved by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for young women from ages 9 to 26, protects those who have not yet been exposed to HPV from two strains of the virus that are responsible for 70% of cervical cancer.
The CDC recommends beginning this vaccine at age 11. If you are older than 27, consult with your health care provider to see if the vaccination may still be beneficial for you.
Additional vaccines are expected to be available in the future.