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Cervical Cancer

What is Cervical Cancer?
teen and doctor Cancer occurs when cells inside the body change and begin growing out of control.
A clump of these cells is called a tumor. A tumor can be benign (not harmful) or malignant (continuing to spread and destroy other parts of the body).

Cervical cancer affects the cervix—part of a woman's reproductive system. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus which is passed from one person to another during sex. At least half of all sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives, but only some women will get cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer: The Facts
  • Cervical cancer is the second most common form of women's cancer in the worldwide.
  • In 2011 approximately 12,710 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in the US.
  • Pap test screening has reduced the number of deaths from cervical cancer—catching it early can lead to better treatment outcome. Call 311 for help finding a doctor or clinic to do a pap test screening.


Risk Factors


Reduce Your Risk
  • Get regular examinations including a PAP smear. If you don't have a doctor, you can go to one of our free and confidential clinics.
  • If you are a smoker, take steps to quit smoking.
  • Get the HPV Vaccine—call 311 to find out where to get the HPV vaccine.


The HPV Vaccine
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Most sexually active people get it at some time in their lives. Most HPV infections don’t cause symptoms and go away on their own.

Long-term HPV infection can sometimes cause cervical cancer. It can also cause genital warts and some less-common types of cancer in both men and women.

Get vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) to prevent most cervical cancer. HPV vaccine has been thoroughly tested. It is more than 90% effective against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancer and most genital warts. It has not been found to cause serious adverse effects.