Cervical cancer occurs when the cells on your cervix begin to change to precancerous cells, finding and treating these problematic cells early is critical to preventing cervical cancer.
How Common is Cervical Cancer?
According to Cleveland Clinic, about 14,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, additionally, people between the ages of 35 and 44 are most frequently diagnosed with cervical cancer.
What Causes Cervical Cancer?
Most cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. HPV is found in about 99.7% of diagnosed cervical cancers. Early detection of HPV plays a key role in preventing cervical cancer, screening tests offer the best chance of detecting cervical cancer at an early stage where treatment can be most successful.
Screening for Cervical Cancer
Screening tests also prevent cervical cancers by detecting any abnormal cervical cell changes (pre-cancers) early in order for them to be treated and prevent them from turning into cervical cancer.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends screenings to begin at 21 years of age and follow-up will then be individualized by the healthcare provider based on age and prior screening results.