In recognition that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, VNA Health Care wants women to know that cervical cancer is a highly preventable and treatable cancer, but only if women take the steps to get screened and vaccinated. In 2018, an estimated 13,240 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 4,170 will die from the disease.
The current recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding cervical cancer screening are having a pap smear every 3 years for women age 21-65. Women age 30 to 65 years who want to lengthen the screening interval may opt to have a pap smear with human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every 5 years. Vaccinations can protect people from getting the types of HPV that most often cause cancer and genital warts. Vaccines that protect against the types of HPV that cause 90% of cervical cancers, as well as several other diseases and cancers, are recommended to be given to girls and boys ages 11 to 12 years of age.
About 80% of women will get HPV at some point in their life, but in the vast majority of women these virus will not cause any symptoms or problems. HPV infections that don't go away can cause changes in the cervix cells, and those changes can lead to cervical cancer. This happens over 10 to 20 years. Many women younger than 30 will have HPV, but these infections are more likely to go away.
Pre-invasive cervical lesions often have no symptoms. Once abnormal cells become cancerous and invade nearby tissue, the most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding, which may start and stop between regular menstrual periods or cause menstrual bleeding to last longer or be heavier than usual. Women who experience any of these symptoms should discuss them with their primary care provider.
Source : http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/bolingbrook-plainfield/community/chi-ugc-article-january-is-cervical-cancer-awareness-month-v-2018-01-09-story.html