In 2020, an estimated 604,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer universally and about 342,000 women died from the disease. The leading cause of cervical cancer is persistent infection with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), an extremely common family of viruses that are spread through sexual contact. Vaccines exist that protect against high-risk HPV types, and screening programs can detect signs of disease at an early stage, allowing for successful treatment and management of the condition. Cervical cancer should be one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer.

HPV Vaccine:

Early stages of cervical cancer may not cause signs or symptoms. Advanced cervical cancer may cause bleeding or discharge from the vagina that is not normal, such as bleeding after sex. If you have any of these signs, see your doctor right away. They may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to be sure is through examination.

Two types of screening tests can help find changes that could become precancer or cervical cancer.

Both tests can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic. If you have a low income or do not have health insurance, you may be able to get free or low-cost screening tests through CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

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