“The routine cervical screenings changed my life,” says Jasmine, after a test found precancerous cells. She shares her story in this video.
You can lower your risk for cervical cancer by getting screened regularly, starting at age 21.
The HPV test and the Pap test are screening tests that can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early.
If you have a low income or don’t have health insurance, you may qualify for free or low-cost cervical cancer screening through CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.
You should start getting Pap tests at age 21. If your Pap test result is normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait three years until your next Pap test.
If you’re 30 to 65 years old, you have three options. Talk to your doctor about which testing option is right for you.
If you’re older than 65, your doctor may tell you that you don’t need to be screened anymore if you have had normal screening test results for several years and you have not had a cervical precancer in the past, or you have had your cervix removed as part of a total hysterectomy for non-cancerous conditions, like fibroids.
The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical cancers. HPV can also cause other kinds of cancer in both men and women.
HPV vaccination prevents new HPV infections, but does not treat existing infections or diseases. This is why the HPV vaccine works best when given before any exposure to HPV. You should get screened for cervical cancer regularly, even if you received an HPV vaccine.
“If I didn’t go to that appointment, I might not be around for my kids,” says Cindy. Her cervical cancer screening test found precancerous cells. She shares her story in this video.
“I am empowered. I’m not afraid to question my doctors about my own health,” Ana says after being treated for cervical cancer. She shares her story in this video.