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Cervical Cancer Screenings

While you can perform self-exams to screen for breast cancer, there are no self-exams to screen for cervical cancer.

There are no obvious signs or symptoms of early cervical cancer. To stay one step ahead of any problems, you need regular cervical cancer screenings.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV can be passed on through sexual contact and is the leading cause of cervical cancer. HPV is also the most common STD and most people who have HPV don't have any symptoms.

Although HPV can't be cured, Pap smears test for abnormal cervical cells. If abnormal cells are found, they can be easily treated before they turn into cancer.

Reduce your chances

  • Use condoms and dental dams. They help minimize the chances that you will get an HPV infection that could lead to cervical cancer.
  • If you're under 26, get the HPV vaccine.

Early detection saves lives

Early detection saves countless lives every year. The earlier cervical cancer is found, the easier it is to treat. Schedule a Pap smear or cervical cancer screening by calling 314-531-7526 or visiting your local Planned Parenthood health center.

What to Expect During Your Cervical Cancer Screening

Your cervical cancer screening can be combined with the rest of your annual exam.

The most common test for cervical cancer is the Pap smear. When you come in for your regular check-up and cervical cancer screening, the nurse or doctor will use a speculum (a metal or plastic instrument) to open the vagina and allow access to the cervix.

A small brush or swab will then be used to get a sample of cervical cells that can be sent to a lab to be analyzed. The lab will be able to see if the cervical cells show pre-cancerous changes or if they are perfectly healthy.

How Often Should You Get Cervical Cancer Screenings?

  • If you're between 20-29: every 3 years
  • If you're between 30-65: A pap smear combined with an HPV test every 5 years
  • If you're 65 and over with normal results in all Pap smear and HPV test results for the past 10 years: you can stop cervical cancer screenings