Health Watch - Cancer Advances: Cervical Cancer

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about advances in the fight against cancer. One area where cancer researchers have had great success is with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer rates have dropped drastically in the last 50 years, but the fight isn’t over yet.

In order to protect themselves from cervical cancer, women need to take advantage of the medical advances available to them. Dr. Debra Richardson, a gynecologic oncologist at
UT Southwestern Medical Center, says women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have an annual gynecologic exam and Pap smear to detect pre-cancerous changes. Women over 30 should talk to their doctors about screening frequency. Young women should also be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus, which is linked to most cervical cancers. Having multiple sexual partners, beginning sexual activity at a younger age and smoking also increase cervical cancer risk.

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February 2010


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