Story by: Norton Healthcare on February 13, 2023
Cervical cancer often can be prevented through regular screenings and vaccinations for children and young adults. According to the American Cancer Society, about 14,100 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in 2022.
The best steps that can be taken to prevent cervical cancer include the following:
“This is one of the truly curable gynecological cancers if detected at an early stage,” said Justin W. Gorski, M.D., gynecologic oncologist with Norton Cancer Institute. “The Pap smear really does save lives, and the vaccine is a complete game changer. It gives us the opportunity to eradicate cervical cancer if widely used.”
Cervical Pap screenings should begin at age 21. Based on the results, a patient then can continue with routine screening or begin more intensive surveillance. The screening also can detect whether steps need to be taken to address any concerns.
No woman should die of cervical cancer
Women’s wellness exam: An annual check can catch cervical cancer
What you need to know about cervical cancer screening guidelines
Often there are no signs, which is why regular screening is so important. Abnormal screening Pap smears, bleeding after intercourse, irregular bleeding, discharge or pain can be signs associated with cervical cancer.
The biggest risk factor is exposure to HPV, a virus that is widespread. There are hundreds of strains of HPV. Some of these are considered “high risk” strains for developing cervical cancer. Most sexually active women will be exposed to HPV at some time in their life.
Discuss getting the HPV vaccine for yourself and those close to you with your primary care provider. If you’re ready for Pap smear screenings, make an appointment with your gynecologist today.
Request an appointment online
Call (502) 629-4GYN (4496)
In addition to HPV, smoking and immunocompromised states (HIV, transplant patients on anti-rejection medications or other immunosuppressive medications) are additional risk factors for developing cervical cancer.
Standard treatment for cervical cancer typically includes surgery (only if it is caught early enough), radiation with chemotherapy, or chemotherapy alone. If the cancer returns or progresses, additional chemotherapies or clinical trials may be available.
Vaccinating both girls and boys could reduce the incidence and prevalence of the viruses that cause cervical cancer. So far in studies, vaccine efficacy against HPV is very high — 90.4%.
Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.