Cancer Prevention and Screening

Doctor with client, woman getting mammogram, 3 women, 2 people wearing hat and sunglasses

Cervical Health

A Pap test can find changes in the cells of the cervix.  These changes can be treated to prevent cancer from developing and spreading.

Take Action

  • Have regular Pap tests, starting at age 21, every three years if you are or have been sexually active
  • Delay first sexual intercourse until after  age 18
  • Limit number of sexual partners
  • Use condoms
  • Be tobacco-free
  • Talk with your doctor or nurse about the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Some types of HPV cause cervical cancer. Women who have had the HPV vaccine still require regular Pap tests.

Risk Factors

  • Not having regular Pap tests
  • Having a type of HPV that may cause cancer
  • Smoking
  • Having seven or more children
  • Having many sexual partners (you or your partner)
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Taking birth control pills for more than ten years
  • Having other sexually transmitted infections.