Cervical cancer

About cervical cancer

Cervical cancer means that cells in your cervix are growing abnormally and out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. The cancer cells can spread to other parts of your body.

Once one of the most common causes of cancer death for women in the U.S., the cervical cancer death rate has decreased significantly with the increased use of the Pap test. This preventive screening, along with regular visits to your healthcare provider, ensure early detection and intervention.

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Risk and prevention

Understand what factors influence and affect cervical cancer rates

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Signs and symptoms

Be aware of these signs when monitoring for cervical cancer

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Detection and treatment

Learn how cervical cancer is diagnosed and treated

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Understanding cervical cancer

What causes cervical cancer?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes most cervical cancer. You can get HPV by having sexual contact with someone who has it. Other things may play a role, such as having more than one sex partner or smoking cigarettes.

Who should be screened for cervical cancer?

If you have a cervix, you may need screening for cervical cancer. When and how often depends on your age, the type of test you have and whether you have a history of abnormal Pap or HPV tests or cervical cancer.

Is a Pap test the same as a pelvic exam?

A Pap test is a test that looks for changes in the cells of the cervix. During a pelvic exam, the healthcare provider feels the reproductive organs. Many people confuse the two because they are usually done at the same time. 

Can I get pregnant after cervical cancer?

Depending on how early the cancer is detected and what treatment is used, among other factors, pregnancy may still be an option for some women.

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