Cervical Cancer prevention:
The HPV Vaccination protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical cancers.
- The HPV vaccination is recommended for preteens aged 11 to 12 years old but can be given starting at age 9.
- The HPV vaccination also is recommended for everyone up to 26 years old, if they are not vaccinated already.
- The HPV vaccination is not recommended for everyone older than age 26 years. However, some adults age 27 through 45, who are not already vaccinated may decide to get the HPV vaccine after speaking with their doctor about their risk.
Two tests help prevent cervical cancer or detect it early—
- The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, which are cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
- The human papillomavirus (HPV) test looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes.
You should get your first Pap test at age 21. If your test result is normal, you can wait three years for your next test.
If you’re 30 years old or older, you have three options—
- You can continue getting a Pap test only. If your test result is normal, you can wait three years for your next test.
- You can get an HPV test only. If your test result is normal, you can wait five years for your next test.
- You can get both an HPV and Pap test together. If your test results are normal, you can wait five years for your next tests.
Women spend a lot of time taking care of their loved ones. This year schedule a Pap for your self-care.