About Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. In the U.S., the American Cancer Society estimated that in 2009, 11,270 women would be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,070 women would die of the disease.
Cervical cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable, yet each year, about 15,000 women in the United States learn that they have cancer of the cervix. The occurrence of deaths from cervical cancer has declined significantly. The good news is that cervical cancer is preventable and curable if it is detected early.
Cervical cancer is caused by persistent infections with high‐risk types of the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection that 3 of 4 adults will have at some time in their lives. Most of these infections go away on their own without treatment.
Infections that do not go away on their own can lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer, however, is almost always preventable ‐ with the Pap test, the HPV test and the HPV vaccine.
A Pap test is the traditional method used for cervical cancer screening. An HPV test identifies women who are infected with high‐risk types of HPV that could potentially lead to cervical cancer. Clinical studies suggest that screening with both a Pap test and an HPV test offers women aged 30 and older the best protection against cervical cancer.
HPV vaccines, recommended for 11‐ to 12‐year‐old girls and approved for young women up to age 26, have been shown to be highly effective at preventing infection with the two most common types of HPV that cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancers. HPV vaccination does not protect against all the HPV types that can cause cervical cancer; thus, women who have been vaccinated still need to be screened.
Cervical Cancer Screening Saves Lives, yet...
• 11% of United States women report that they do not have their Pap test screenings.
• In the United States, About 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and 4,000+ women die in the USA each year from this disease.
• Women in developing countries account for about 85 percent of both the yearly cases of cervical cancer (estimated at 473,000 cases worldwide) and the yearly deaths from cervical cancer (estimated at 253,500 deaths worldwide).
• In the majority of developing countries, cervical cancer remains the number‐one cause of cancer related deaths among women.
• A woman who does not have her three shot prevention vaccine and her regular Pap test screen and HPV test when recommended, significantly increases her chances of developing cervical cancer.
• High‐Risk HPV Types are directly related to cervical cancer, yet many women are unaware of what HPV is or the relationship it has to cervical cancer.