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Skip Navigation LinksCervical-Cancer-Awareness-Month


Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. But over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has decreased by more than 50

percent. The main reason for this change is the increased use of cervical cancer screenings. Screening can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops as well as find cervical cancer early − in its most curable stage.


Women can easily prevent cervical cancer with regular screening tests and follow-ups. Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer by detecting it early—the Pap test (or Pap smear) and the human papillomavirus (HPV) test.

Cervical cancer usually takes 10 to 20 years to develop. So testing is not typically recommended every year. But remember, every woman is different. Encourage your employees to start a conversation with their doctor about which tests and treatments they need — and which they don't — so that they receive the care that's right for them.

Share these Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines with your employees:
  • Age 21 to 29: A Pap test is recommended every three years
  • Age 30 to 65: A Pap test and HPV test are recommended every five years, or Pap testing alone every three years
  • Age 65-plus: If you have had several normal Pap tests in a row, you can stop having the test
  • After a hysterectomy: If you still have a cervix, you should follow the guidelines above.
  • At any age: Talk with your doctor about more frequent testing if you have had risk factors for cervical cancer such as:

-You had cervical cancer in the past
-You have an HPV infection
-You have pre-cancerous changes in your cervix
-You have a condition that weakens your immune system, like cancer or HIV

Should a woman get a pelvic exam if she doesn’t need a Pap test?
A woman can have a pelvic exam without a Pap test, but it is rarely needed. A woman may need a pelvic exam if she has pelvic or abdominal pain, abnormal bleeding or discharge, or severe menstrual pain.

Encourage your employees to click “Find a Doctor” to find a provider near them.