Cervical cancer is responsible for over 4,000 deaths of American women every year, but the good news is that it’s largely one of the most preventable cancers. 

Concord Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing would like to discuss the different screening plans that can find issues in the cervix and eliminate them before they turn into cancer.

Pap Test

The American Cancer Society says most cases of cervical cancer have been found in women who did not get regular pap tests. Doctors also may test for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted infection that can also cause cervical cancer.

Here are the guidelines for testing:

  • 21-39 years old: Pap test every three years.
  • 30-65 years old: Pap test alone every three years or Pap test and HPV test every five years.
  • Over 65 years old: Talk to your women’s health professional regarding any potential testing. Many will discontinue testing if you had regular Pap tests for 20 years, and they were all negative.

HPV Vaccine

Cervical cancer may be greatly reduced in its prevalence in younger generations thanks to the HPV vaccine. It’s advised for all preteen girls (age 11 and 12). Catch-up vaccines can be given to women up to age 26, and men up to the age of 21 can also get it, so they can prevent the spread of infection. In addition, the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for women up to the age of 45. The effectiveness of the vaccine decreases as women age, so that’s why it’s important that women get vaccinated at a young age.

To learn more about Concord Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit http://concord-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org/.