Cervical Cancer Screening
According to the American Cancer Society’s 2014 Cancer Facts & Figures, approximately 12,360 women will find out they have invasive cervical cancer this year, and about 4,020 women will die from the disease.
Fortunately, the death rate from cervical cancer continues to decrease each year, due to prevention and regular screenings, including Pap and HPV tests, which can catch the disease in its earliest—and most treatable—stage.
At CHI Health Cancer Care, you can be confident that our state-of-the-art screening technology and diagnostic methods provide highly accurate results. In fact, our cancer center is the only one of its kind in the Omaha region to receive a three-year Network Accreditation with Commendation from the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer (CoC).
When Should I Have a Cervical Cancer Screening?
- Women ages 21-29 should have a Pap test every three years.
- Women ages 30-65 should have a Pap test and HPV test every five years or a Pap test alone every three years.
- Women age 65 and older can stop testing if you have had regular normal test results. If you have had a cervical pre-cancer, continue testing for 20 years after the diagnosis.
- If you have not had cervical cancer and your cervix has been removed, you do not need to be tested.
It’s important to follow the cervical cancer screening recommendations for your age group, even if you have had the HPV vaccine.
What if My Pap Test Result is Abnormal?
If you are told you have an abnormal Pap test result, you will likely need further testing, which may include a repeat Pap test a few months later. This may give time for the changes to go away on their own.
Sometimes, there is more than one option for further testing. The follow-up you receive depends on your age and the grade of dysplasia (changes to cells on the surface of the cervix). You and your healthcare provider will discuss each option and decide which is best for you.
Another option for some women is an HPV test, which detects the presence of cancer-causing types of HPV in cervical cells. The cells used for the initial Pap test often can be tested, so you do not need to return to the office for another test.
A colposcopy lets your doctor look at the cervix in more detail through a magnifying device. It can detect problems of the cervix that cannot be seen with the eye alone. If an area of abnormal cells is seen, your doctor may decide that a biopsy is needed.
Take Charge of Your Health—Schedule Your Cervical Cancer Screening Today
For prevention and early detection of cervical cancer, it is important to see your primary care physician every year to learn what cancer screens you should have based on your age and family history.
Our physicians have earned national recognition for their work in cancer detection. We also have more primary care physicians than any other system in the region. Find a skilled primary care physician at CHI Health or call 1-800-253-4368 and we’ll point you to the right doctor.