St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Cervical cancer - screening and prevention

    Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV (human papilloma virus). HPV is a common virus that is spread through sexual intercourse and other contact.

    Male and female condoms cannot fully protect you because the virus or warts can be on the skin. Nonetheless, condoms reduce your risk, and you should still use them at all times. HPV can be passed from person to person even when there are no visible warts or other symptoms.

    To further reduce the risk of cervical cancer, women should limit the number of their sexual partners and avoid partners who participate in high-risk sexual activities.

    If you smoke, quit. Cigarette smoking is associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer.

    Vaccines to Prevent Cervical Cancer

    Two vaccines are available to protect against four of the HPV types that cause most cervical cancer in women. The vaccine is given as a series of three shots. It is recommended for girls and women ages 9- 26.

    It is best for girls to receive the vaccine by age 11 or before becoming sexually active. However, even girls and younger women who have already been sexually active can still gain protection from the HPV vaccine.

    Pap Smears

    Cervical cancer usually develops very slowly. It starts as a precancerous condition called dysplasia. This precancerous condition can be detected by a Pap smear and is 100% treatable.

    That is why it is so important for women to get regular Pap smears. Most women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer today have not had regular Pap smears or they have not followed up on abnormal Pap smear results.

    Screening should start at age 21. After the first test:

    • Woman should have a Pap smear ever 2 years to check for cervical cancer.
    • If you are over age 30 or your Pap smears have been negative three times in a row, your doctor may tell you that you need a Pap smear only every 3 years.
    • If you or your sexual partner have other new partners, you should have a Pap smear every 2 years.
    • After age 65 - 70, most women can stop having Pap smears as long as they have had three negative tests within the past 10 years.
    • If you have a new sexual partner after age 65, you should begin having Pap smear screening again.

    References

    Smith RA, Cokkinides V, Brooks D, Saslow D, Brawley OW. Cancer screening in the United States, 2010: a review of current American Cancer Society guidelines and issues in cancer screening. CA Cancer J Clin. 2010 Mar-Apr;60(2):99-119.

    Pham H, Geraci SA, Burton MJ; CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Adult immunizations: update on recommendations. Am J Med. 2011 Aug;124(8):698-701.

    Kahn JA. HPV vaccination for the prevention of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. N Engl J Med. 2009 Jul 16;361(3):271-8.

    BACK TO TOP

    • illustration

      • illustration

      A Closer Look

      Talking to your MD

        Self Care

        Tests for Cervical cancer - screening and prevention

        Review Date: 11/8/2011

        Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
        adam.com

        A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


        Back  |  Top
        About Us
        Contact Us
        History
        Mission
        Locations & Directions
        Quality Reports
        Annual Reports
        Honors & Awards
        Community Health Needs
        Assessment

        Newsroom
        Services
        Brain & Spine
        Cancer
        Heart
        Maternity
        Orthopedics
        Pulmonary
        Sleep Medicine
        Urgent Care
        Women's Services
        All Services
        Patients & Visitors
        Locations & Directions
        Find a Physician
        Tour St. Luke's
        Patient & Visitor Information
        Contact Us
        Payment Options
        Financial Assistance
        Send a Card
        Mammogram Appointments
        Health Tools
        My Personal Health
        mystlukes
        Spirit of Women
        Health Information & Tools
        Clinical Trials
        Health Risk Assessments
        Employer Programs -
        Passport to Wellness

        Classes & Events
        Classes & Events
        Spirit of Women
        Donate & Volunteer
        Giving Opportunities
        Volunteer
        Physicians & Employees
        For Physicians
        Remote Access
        Medical Residency Information
        Pharmacy Residency Information
        Physician CPOE Training
        Careers
        Careers
        St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
        Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile