Preventive measures and vaccines are topics we’re familiar with these days. HPV, the top cause of cervical cancer, is like other viruses—to stop it we can all do our part to keep ourselves and others protected.
When to get tested
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that’s passed between sexually active people and can turn into cancer.
There are ways to treat the abnormal cell growth caused by HPV, so it’s important to detect HPV infections early.
Two tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:
Pap test (Pap smear)
Precancers (cell changes on the cervix that may become cancer if left untreated)
Women starting at age 21
The virus that can cause cell changes on the cervix
Women age 30-65: Discuss this test with your Primary Care Provider
You can also make some lifestyle choices that will lower your chances of getting HPV so that you’re less likely to get cervical cancer:
- Use condoms during sexual intercourse.
- Limit your number of sexual partners.
- Work to maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Do not smoke, since smokers are twice as likely to get cervical cancer.
Benefit from your benefits
When it’s time to get screened, why not take care of everything at once?
Use our Preventive Care Calendar to see recommended care for your age and gender.