By Jacqui Boyle
By the numbers: Cervical cancer
- About 12,340 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in 2013 in the United States.
- About 4,030 women will die from cervical cancer in 2013 in the United States.
- Between 1955 and 1992, the cervical cancer death rate declined by almost 70 percent, mainly due to the increased use of the Pap test.
- Most cases of cervical cancer are found in women younger than 50.
- More than 20 percent of cervical cancer cases are found in women older than 65.
Source: American Cancer Society
- Annual exam: All patients who are age 18 or older or who are within three years of being sexually active should have an annual screening with a Pap smear.
- Vaccine: For those who are not sexually active, the Gardasil vaccine series can help prevent certain types of HPV, including those believed to be responsible for a majority of cases of cervical cancer and genital warts.
- Sexual activity: “It’s generally thought that the primary mode of development of cervical cancer involves the sexually transmitted disease HPV. By limiting the number of sexual partners she has, a woman can help decrease the risk of HPV infection and thus decrease her risk of developing cervical cancer,” said Dr. Robert P. Flick, medical director of OB/GYN services for Mercy Health – West Gynecology, located in Cincinnati.