(Cancer of the Cervix)
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- Infection of the cervix with HPV—the main risk factor for cervical cancer
- History of cervical dysplasia, which is a precancerous condition
- Being a woman whose mother took the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy
- Unprotected intercourse
- Multiple sexual partners
- Sexual activity prior to age 18
- First pregnancy prior to age 20
- Breast cancer chemotherapy
- Long-term use of hormonal contraceptives
- Bleeding between regular menstrual periods
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse, douching, or a pelvic exam
- Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer and is heavier than usual
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Increased vaginal discharge that is not blood
Radiation Therapy (Radiotherapy)
- External radiation therapy—radiation directed at the tumor from a source outside the body
- Internal radiation therapy—radioactive materials placed in or near the cancer cells
- Safe sexual practice—Limit the number of sexual partners and use latex condoms.
- HPV vaccines—The vaccines protect you against some types of HPV. One vaccine, called Gardasil, is used to prevent cervical cancer by protecting against four types of HPV. Another vaccine, called Cervarix, is also approved for prevention by protecting against two HPV types. The vaccines are routinely given to girls aged 11-12 years old. A catch-up vaccine is given to young women who haven't been vaccinated.
- If you are aged 21-29 years—It is recommended that you have the Pap test every three years.
- If you are aged 30-65—It is recommended that you have the Pap test and the HPV test every five years. Or, you can continue to have just the Pap test every three years.
- If you are aged 65 or older—You may be able to stop having Pap and HPV tests if you have had normal results, such as three normal results in a row and no abnormal results in the past 10 years.
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Practice Bulletin 76: Postpartum hemorrhage. Obstet Gynecol. 2006;108(4):1039-47.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Practice Bulletin 109: Cervical cytology screening. Obstet Gynecol. 2009;114(6):1409-20.
Cervical cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/index. Accessed January 6, 2014.
Cervical cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/. Updated September 5, 2013. Accessed January 6, 2014.
Cervical cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 7, 2013. Accessed January 6, 2014.
Cervical cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/cervical. Accessed January 6, 2014.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/HPV-vaccine/. Updated December 29, 2011. Accessed January 6, 2014.
Saslow D, Soloman D, Lawson H, et al. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology screening guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2012 Mar 14 early online.
Sawaya GF. Cervical-cancer screening: new guidelines and the balance between benefits and harms. N Engl J Med. 2009;361(26):2503-2505.
5/18/2007 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: The FUTURE II Study Group. Quadrivalent vaccine against human papillomavirus to prevent high-grade cervical lesions. N Engl J Med. 2007;356:1915-1927.
3/19/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Screening for cervical cancer. US Preventive Services Task Force website. Available at: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspscerv.htm. Published March 2012. Accessed January 6, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/06/2014 -