There is no guaranteed way to prevent cervical cancer. However, by getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, if possible, and undergoing regular testing, a person can significantly reduce their risk. Using barrier methods of protection during sexual activity, avoiding smoking, and making certain dietary changes may also be beneficial.
A note about sex and gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that in 2022, approximately
Although it is not always possible to prevent cervical cancer, the
Testing can allow doctors to identify precancerous changes and provide early treatment. The vaccine helps prevent infection with HPV, which is a virus that can lead to cervical cancer.
This article looks in more detail at what a person can do to help minimize the risk of cervical cancer.
Doctors can perform both of these tests at their clinic or office.
A person should receive the result within
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HPV is associated with
HPV is an extremely common virus that people can contract through sexual contact. It is important to note that nearly all sexually active people contract HPV and that
An HPV test can reveal cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer. This gives doctors a chance to treat the cells before they develop further.
People sometimes refer to this test as a PAP smear. The test looks for precancerous changes in the cells in the cervix. These cells could become cancerous without treatment.
A healthcare professional will use an instrument called a speculum to widen the vagina and then use a swab to collect a sample from the cervix. They will send the cells to a laboratory for analysis.
How to get a cervical screening
A person can contact their local doctor’s office to inquire about cervical screening. Alternatively, they can make an appointment with Planned Parenthood here.
A person can find out whether they qualify for NBCCEDP
Learn more about cervical screening:
The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.
Preteens aged 11–12 years and everyone under the age of 26 years should get the HPV vaccine. People may need two or three doses, depending on their age.
Although doctors do not typically recommend the vaccine for those older than 26 years, some people aged 27–45 years may choose to get the vaccine after consulting a doctor.
Some people may have heard reports about safety concerns relating to the Gardasil vaccine. However, the
Learn more about the HPV vaccine.
How to get the vaccine
A person can get the HPV vaccine at their local clinic, health department, or Planned Parenthood health center.
According to Planned Parenthood, the average cost of a single dose is $250. However, many health insurance companies will cover the cost of the HPV vaccine for those who are eligible.
A person without insurance can ask a doctor or nurse for information on how to get the HPV vaccine at a lower cost.
The federally funded
The HPV infection spreads through sexual contact.
According to the
Using a barrier method of birth control, such as a condom or dental dam, helps protect against HPV infection.
However, it is important to note that a person
Learn more about barrier protection methods:
Toxic substances in tobacco smoke can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to kill cancer cells. Additionally, these poisons can damage or change the cell’s DNA, causing a tumor to start developing.
Nicotine and other substances in tobacco may pass to the cervix through semen, compromising the immune system and the body’s ability to defend itself against cancer.
Learn more about smoking and cervical cancer:
The author of a
- antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, in fruits and vegetables
- polyphenols, flavonoids, lycopene, and sulforaphane in plant foods and teas
- folate, calcium, and vitamin D
- nuts and legumes
CIN2 cells are
In addition, research suggests that people should avoid:
Higher glycemic index (GI) foods
Learn more about whether diet influences cervical cancer risk.
Experts advise that regular screening may help prevent cervical cancer from developing or detect it in its early stages.
In addition, getting an HPV vaccine can protect people from contracting this common virus through sexual contact. HPV can lead to cervical cancer.
People can lower their risk of developing cervical cancer by using barrier protection methods during sexual activity and avoiding smoking.
Furthermore, eating a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet can provide antioxidants to help the immune system protect against HPV.