Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer Facts

An estimated 13,800 cases of invasive cervical cancer are expected to occur among women in the United States in 2020 and 4,290 deaths are expected. In 2020 in Iowa, approximately 110 cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed.

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV. This is a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex. 

HPV is so common that most people get it at some time in their lives. There are many types of HPV. Some can cause changes to a person's cervix that can lead to cervical cancer. 

Cervical Cancer Risk Factors

  • Many sexual partners.
  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Having a compromised immune system.
  • Long term use of birth control pills.
  • High number of childbirths.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms

It is important to see your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  • Bleeding that starts and stops between regular menstrual periods.
  • Menstrual bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than usual.
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse.
  • Bleeding after a pelvic exam.
  • Bleeding after menopause.
  • Increased vaginal discharge.

Fortunately most cervical cancers develop slowly. They can be prevented if an individual is screened at recommended intervals.

Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Prevention

Early detection could save your life. In addition to preventing cancer, cervical screening can detect cancer early, when treatment is most successful. Two tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:

Both tests can be done at your doctor's office or clinic. Learn more about what to expect at the visit here. To reduce you risk of developing cervical cancer, talk to your doctor about you risks and medical history. Be sure to follow your doctor's recommendations on screening intervals and age appropriate vaccination. 



A vaccine to prevent cancer? Yes! The CDC recommends beginning the HPV vaccine between 11-12 years of age.

 Learn more about the vaccine and HPV here.




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