Cervical Cancer Screening and Prevention
Cervical cancer is caused by a virus that spreads from person to person through sexual activity called the human papillomavirus (HPV). Your cells can go through many changes before they become cancer, making cervical cancer easy to find early. Your primary care doctor or a gynecologist (a doctor who specializes in women’s health) at Union Health Center will test for cervical cancer with the Pap test. Many people have Pap test results that are not normal; some are more serious than others. Your primary care doctor may do a second test to learn more.
Cervical cancer is one of the only types of cancer that can be prevented by a vaccine. The vaccine protects you from getting the HPV virus, which causes cervical cancer. If it is right for you, your primary care doctor will discuss the HPV vaccine with you. Since HPV is passed sexually, it should be given to both boys and girls. The vaccine works best when it is given before a person becomes sexually active. It is important for boys and girls to get the vaccine at a young age, between 11 and 12 years, and young adults up to 26 years old.