Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2022. 1:59 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in women.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that every year in the U.S., about 13,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed and about 4,000 women die of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix (the entrance to the uterus from the vagina).
Almost all cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV), an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact, the WHO says.
Health professionals at the WHO say that when diagnosed, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively. Cancers diagnosed in late stages can also be controlled with appropriate treatment and palliative care.
Most doctors advise pap smears starting at the age of 21, repeating every 3-5 years depending on age.
A pap smear helps to check for precancers and cell changes on the cervix that may develop into cervical cancer without appropriate treatment.
The test may occur along with the test for human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection. It is also the leading cause of cervical cancer.
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