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Cancer Awareness

Cervical Cancer Awareness

If you are a woman who has her cervix, you are at risk for cervical cancer. Women who have had a total hysterectomy, which includes removing the cervix, are not at risk for cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer, one of the leading causes of death worldwide, typically occurs in women between ages 35 and 44. Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually.

  • About 13,960 women in the U.S. will receive a new diagnosis of cervical cancer in 2023.
  • An estimated 4,310 women will die from cervical cancer in 2023.
  • About 50% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer are 35-54 years old.
  • The 5-year survival rate for women with stages 0 and 1A cervical cancer is about 93%.

Resources and tools

  • In women age 30 and older, the human papillomavirus test can be used to screen for cervical cancer along with the Pap test. The HPV test is also used to provide more information when women age 21 and older have unclear Pap test results.

    If both test results are normal, your physician may say that you can wait up to 5 years for your next screening. Your physician can advise you on an appropriate screening schedule for the Pap and HPV tests, depending on your age and specific risk.

    The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers. The vaccine is Food and Drug Administration-approved to be given at age 9 and recommended for preteen boys and girls at age 11 or 12. At this age, children have a higher immune response to the vaccine. The FDA has also approved the vaccine for individuals through the age of 45. In adults, even women who have received the HPV vaccine need to have regular Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer.

  • When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for women with stages 0 and 1A cervical cancer is about 93%. Most invasive cervical cancers occur in women who have never had a Pap test or who have not had one in the past 5 years.

  • It is one of the most preventable types of cancer because it develops over time, according to the American Cancer Society. Deaths from cervical cancer have been declining steadily over the past 40 years. This is largely due to the Pap test, one of the most reliable and effective screening tests available. The HPV test and HPV vaccine also help prevent cervical cancer.

    Women should start getting regular Pap tests at age 21 or when they become sexually active. Pap tests help detect precancerous changes on the cervix that can be simply and effectively treated to prevent cervical cancer.

    During the Pap test, cells are collected from the cervix to be microscopically examined. If your Pap test results are normal, your physician may say that you don’t need another Pap test for 3 years.

HPV and cervical cancer

There are approximately 13,000 new cases of HPV-associated cervical cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. Overall, the human papillomavirus causes more than 95% of all cervical cancers.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. It can cause cancers of the genital regions in men and women, as well as cancers of the throat.

Cervical cancer is predominantly caused by HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Today this is a preventable illness because of the HPV vaccine. The vaccine protects against HPV types that most commonly cause anal, cervical, head and neck, penile, vaginal and vulvar cancers. The American Cancer Society recommends the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and precancers.

HPV testing pinpoints the presence of high-risk HPV types in cervical cells. The test can detect HPV infections that cause cell abnormalities, sometimes even before the abnormalities are evident. With the HPV vaccine, routine pap tests and HPV testing, we can prevent cervical cancer and dysplasia.

HPV vaccination rates

Kansas and Missouri are among states with the lowest vaccination rates in the nation.

A September 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed Kansas adolescent HPV vaccination rates continue to improve for both girls and boys. The greatest increase was seen in girls, with 62% having at least one dose of the HPV vaccine, compared to 51% in 2015.

The University of Kansas Cancer Center joins other National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers to endorse updated HPV vaccination recommendations.

image of Kristina Traughber

Finding the bright side

Kristina Traughber knows her stage 4 cervical cancer is not curable, but she's tackling her disease head-on with aggressive treatment.
Kristina's story

Request your appointment today.

To make an appointment at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, call 913-588-1227.

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