Cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer death for women in the U.S., but with increased screening rates, more and more women are surviving and leading healthy lives. January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and a great opportunity to test your knowledge and learn the latest prevention techniques. Test your understanding of cervical cancer by using the flashcards below, based on the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
True or False? A virus is the most common cause of cervical cancer.
TRUE: The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).
True or False? The HPV Vaccine is highly effective in preventing cervical cancer.
TRUE: Clinical trials have shown that HPV vaccines are highly effective in preventing cervical infection when given before first exposure to the virus. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is recommended for boys and girls aged 11 to 12 years old. It is also recommended for everyone through age 26 if they are not vaccinated already.
True or False? If you’ve had the HPV vaccine, you don’t need to be screened for cervical cancer.
FALSE: You should get screened for cervical cancer regularly, even if you received an HPV vaccine.
True or False? Women should get a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer every year.
FALSE: Most women don’t need a Pap test every year. If your Pap test result is normal, it is recommended that you wait 3 years for your next Pap test. If you’re 30 to 65 years old and get either an HPV test or both the HPV and Pap tests together, you can wait 5 years to repeat testing if your results are normal. HPV vaccine may be given to adults 27 through 45 based on discussion with their provider, if they did not receive the vaccine when they were younger.
True or False? Cervical cancer does not usually present with symptoms at first.
TRUE: In its earliest stages, cervical cancer generally does not produce signs or symptoms. When the cancer progresses, vaginal bleeding after intercourse or between periods may occur. Therefore, screening is so important to catch it in its earliest stage!
Cervical cancer prevention is possible! Talk to your Axia Women’s Health provider to schedule your Pap smear or to learn more about HPV vaccination, if eligible.