Preventing Cervical Cancer

Avoiding sexual activity that increases the risks for HPV infection, not smoking, and having regular Pap smears and HPV tests can help prevent most cases of cervical cancer. Using condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners may prevent HPV infection.

In June of 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a cervical cancer vaccine for girls and women between the ages of 9 and 26. This vaccine (Gardasil) has been shown to protect against the human papillomavirus (HPV). In October 2009, a vaccine called Cervarix was approved for use in girls and women between the ages of 10 and 25 years. This vaccine is used to prevent cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia caused by HPV types 16 and 18.

Electrosurgery, cryosurgery, podophyllum, and trichloroacetic acid are methods used to remove HPV lesions in mucosal tissue. Removal is warranted because of the potential for developing into cervical cancer.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 5 women reported not being up-to-date with cervical cancer screening recommendations in the National Health Interview Survey (2013). Screening data showed that 80.7 percent of women aged 21–65 had a Pap test—a percentage that was lower in 2013 than in 2000.

Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 14 Aug 1999

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2015