Cervical Health Facts You Should Know

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

Do you know what the cervix is and what can be done to help prevent cervical cancer? Are you worried about your cancer risk? Are you considering whether or not to take or have your daughter take the HPV vaccine? We’ve gathered a few short facts and sources about cervical health that can make a huge difference in your health and longevity.

  • The cervix is a cylinder-shaped piece of tissue that connects the vagina and uterus. It is the part that dilates during late pregnancy to allow a woman to give birth.[1]
  • Most cases of cervical cancer are found in women under 50[2].
  • Cervical cancer is almost always cause by HPV (human papillomavirus).
  • HPV is one of the most common sexually-transmitted diseases, affecting about 14 million people each year.[3]
  • If you’ve tested positive for HPV, the good news is that if you have a healthy immune system, it often clears on its own.[4]
  • Increased use of the Pap test has significantly improved cervical health and reduced the number of cervical cancer cases.
  • Factors such as smoking, being overweight, Chlamydia and the use of oral contraceptives can also increase a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.[5]
  • The Center for Disease Control recommends the HPV vaccine for girls and women between the ages of 11 to 26.[6]
  • If detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.[7]
  • The American Cancer Society recommends a Pap test every 3 years for women aged 21-29 and every 5 years for women aged 30-65.[8]

Cervical Health Sources:

[1] http://www.webmd.com/women/picture-of-the-cervix
[2] http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/detailedguide/cervical-cancer-key-statistics
[3] http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm
[4] http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/hpv-genital-warts/hpv-treatment-is-there-hpv-cure
[5] http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/detailedguide/cervical-cancer-risk-factors
[6] http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/get-screened-january-cervical-health-awareness-month?page=2
[7] http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/moreinformation/cervicalcancerpreventionandearlydetection/cervical-cancer-prevention-and-early-detection-cervical-cancer-screening-guidelines
[8] http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/moreinformation/cervicalcancerpreventionandearlydetection/cervical-cancer-prevention-and-early-detection-cervical-cancer-screening-guidelines