Most women with cervical cancer are diagnosed before the age of 50.
It occurs when cells on the cervix grow out of control. The cervix is the lower, narrow end part of the uterus opening up into the vagina.
One way to diagnose cervical cancer is with a pap test. When this type of cancer is detected early, it’s highly treatable and recoverable.
One step in preventing cervical cancer is to be tested regularly.
The Pap test is one of the best ways to prevent cervical cancer as well as detect it early.
The test looks for pre-cancers, which are cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if not treated appropriately.
A virus called the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV is what most commonly causes the cells to grow out of control.
Women who do not get tested, or do not get tested on a regular basis have a greater chance of getting cervical cancer.
HPV infection can change regular cervix cells into pre-cancer cells.
Most cells with early pre-cancer changes from HPV tend to go back to normal on their own, especially before you are in your 30’s.
If they do not go back to normal, they can be treated once detected.
Cervical cancer is rare in women who get regular screening tests and schedule their Pap tests consistently.
HPV is more common than you think
Women who have been sexually active will most likely have HPV at some point in their life, but few will get cervical cancer.
HPV usually does not have any symptoms, but the cell changes that the virus can potentially cause in the cervix can be treated once detected.
If the HPV does not go away on its own, it will usually show up on your regular Pap test.