Cancer Education and Early Detection

Select textsizemediumlargelarger

Recommendations Regarding Screening for Cervical Health Services

Why Is Cervical Health Important?

The Facts

About 15,000 cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed this year. Most of these will be caught early and cured, although about a third of these cases will still result in the patient's death. In certain groups of women, including women past the childbearing years who do not regularly see a gynecologist, cervical cancer is more commonly found in advanced stages when cure is less likely.

Who Is At Risk?

Cervical cancer can affect any woman who is or has been sexually active. Risk of cervical cancer is higher in women who have had multiple sexual partners or in women whose partners have had multiple partners. Older women and women without access to regular medical care are especially vulnerable if they do not have regular Pap tests and gynecologic exams.

The Best Defense: Early Detection

Thanks to the Pap test, cervical cancer has become a relatively rare cancer in the United States. A Pap test can detect changes in the cervix that can be treated before they become cancer. The Pap test is also very effective in detecting cervical cancer in its early stages before it has spread to other parts of the body, when it is highly curable.

The American Cancer Society recommends that all women who have reached the age of 18 or who have been sexually active have a Pap test and pelvic exam every year. After three or more normal exams, the Pap test may be performed less frequently at her doctor's discretion.

*American Cancer Society-Cancer Facts for Women