Historically, cervical cancer was the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Thankfully, over the last 40 years, the rate of cervical cancer has been on a steady decline. This is due to increased awareness of cervical cancer screening and improvements in screening methods.

What Causes Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is most commonly caused by the HPV virus. There are multiple types of the HPV virus. HPV can be transmitted from person to person during sex. About 80% of sexually active people are infected with the HPV virus during their lifetime.

All About Cervical Cancer Screening
Screening can detect abnormal cells on the cervix before the cells become cancer. Cervical cancer screening is performed during a pelvic exam by a pap test and/or HPV test. All women should have a well women exam yearly, but the timing of pap testing is based on your age and medical history.
• You should have your FIRST pap test at age 21
• If you have no history of abnormal pap tests and you have not had a hysterectomy, your doctor may recommend:
o Age 21-29 – every 3 years
o Age 30-65 – every 3 or 5 years

HPV Vaccination
• Gardasil 9 targets the 9 most common types of HPV – 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58
• HPV vaccine is recommended for everyone age of 11-12
• HPV vaccine is recommended for everyone age 13-26 not previously vaccinated
• Individuals over the age of 26 may receive the vaccine but may not have insurance coverage

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