Cervical Cancer Screening
The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), a program of the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), recognizes January as Cervical Health Awareness Month.
Each year in the U.S. nearly 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and over 4,300 die as a result. The disease takes an even greater toll globally as most cervical cancers occur in low-income countries. In both the U.S. and abroad, cervical cancer is most often found in women living in poverty and who lack access to health care.
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers today. In most cases cervical cancer can be prevented through early detection and treatment of abnormal cell changes that occur in the cervix years before cervical cancer develops.
Current guidelines for cervical cancer screening are:
- Women should start screening with the Pap test at age 21. (Screening is not recommended for women under age 21.)
Starting at age 30, women have three options available for screening:
- A Pap test alone every three years
- Co-testing with a Pap and HPV test, every five years
- An HPV test alone, every five years
If you meet the guidelines for Cervical Cancer Screenings, please discuss options with your SCC Provider Care Team!
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination & Cancer Prevention
All 11–12-year-olds need two doses of HPV vaccine to protect against infections that can cause some cancers later in life.
There Is No Screening for Most Cancers Caused by HPV
Every year in the United States, 36,500 people (including women and men) are estimated to be diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV infection. Although cervical cancer is the most well-known of the cancers caused by HPV, there are other types of cancer caused by HPV.
HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of cancers caused by HPV from ever developing. This is an estimated 33,700 cases in the United States every year.
HPV Vaccine Schedule and Dosing
About 85% of people will get an HPV infection in their lifetime. Vaccinating 11–12-year-olds can protect them long before they are ever exposed. CDC recommends two doses of HPV vaccine for all adolescents at age 11 or 12 years.
If you would like more information on HPV Vaccines, please discuss options with your SCC Provider Care Team!