Cervical Cancer (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
You can treat early cervical cell changes (dysplasia), which can reduce your risk for cervical cancer. You can also reduce your risk for abnormal cell changes.
Have regular Pap test screening
The recommended Pap test schedule is based on your age and things that increase your risk. For most women, it is best to have a Pap test every 1 to 3 years. Talk to your doctor about when to have your first Pap test and how often to have this test.
Get the HPV vaccine
If you are a woman age 26 or younger or a man age 21 and younger, get the HPV vaccine. The vaccines Cervarix(What is a PDF document?) and Gardasil(What is a PDF document?) protect against two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer. It is recommended for children age 11 or 12, but can be given as early as age 9. For girls who have not already gotten the vaccine, it is recommended up to age 26. For boys who have not already gotten the shot, the vaccine is recommended up to age 21. Gardasil is used for males. Females can get either vaccine. For more information, see the topic Immunizations.
Reduce your risk of a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
Preventing an STI, including HPV, is easier than treating an infection after it occurs. HPV infection usually doesn't cause symptoms, so you or your partner may not know that you are infected.
To reduce your risk:
Not having sexual contact is the only certain way to prevent exposure to STIs. Sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV) can be spread to or from the genitals, anus, mouth, or throat during sexual activities.
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