HPV Cervical Cancer smCervical cancer affects nearly 13,000 women in the United States each year and it kills more than 4,000 of them. But it is one of the most preventable cancers and vaccination can greatly reduce the risk.

Cervical cancer develops slowly beginning with abnormal cell changes that occur years before cancer develops. These cell changes can be caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).

The best way to reduce your risk of cervical cancer is vaccination against HPV. This vaccine can help prevent an HPV infection that can lead to cancer and cause genital warts.

Almost all women and men will be exposed to HPV at some point in their lives, so early prevention is important. HPV vaccines have been approved by the FDA for all girls and young women between the ages of 9 to 26 to help prevent cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancers.

The HPV vaccine is administered in two or three doses than are given over a six-month period. Boys and young men can also get the vaccine to help prevent the spread of HPV.

For the best protection, the vaccine should be given before sexual activity begins and guidelines recommend vaccination at age 11 or 12. The word about HPV vaccination is reaching parents because surveys show that 60 percent of teen girls and 50 percent of teen boys have started the HPV vaccine series.

The traditional screening for early detection of cervical cancer is the Pap test and it's important to have this test throughout your adult life. Continuing Pap tests after menopause is recommended because four out of 10 cervical cancer deaths occur in women age 65 and older.

See your women's health provider for an annual exam and discuss how often you need a Pap test because recommendations will vary based on age and risk status.


Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax