Cervical Cancer (Cancer of the Cervix)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Cervical Cancer Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideCervical Cancer Pictures Slideshow: Symptoms, Stages and Treatment

Cervical Cancer Pictures Slideshow: Symptoms, Stages and Treatment

Can cervical cancer be prevented? What is the cervical cancer vaccine?

Cervical cancer can often be prevented with vaccination and modern screening techniques that detect precancerous changes in the cervix. The incidence of cervical cancers in the developed world declined significantly after the introduction of Pap screening to detect precancerous changes, which can be treated before they progress to become cancer.

Moreover, vaccines are available against the common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. Gardasil, Gardasil-9, and Cervarix are three different HPV vaccines. Gardasil has been shown to be 100% effective in preventing infection by four common HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18) in young people who not previously infected with HPV. Gardasil 9, a newer version of the vaccine, was approved in December 2014 and provides immunity to 9 HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58). Cervarix prevents infection from HPV types 16 and 18, which are the two HPV types most commonly associated with cervical cancer.

Vaccination should occur before sexual activity to offer the full benefit of the vaccine. The CDC recommends that 11- to 12-year-old girls receive the HPV vaccine, and young women ages 13 through 26 should get the vaccine if they did not receive any or all doses when they were younger. Gardasil is also approved for use in males aged 9 to 26, and the CDC recommends Gardasil for all boys aged 11 or 12 years, and for males aged 13 through 21 years who did not receive the full three vaccination series. Men can receive the vaccine up to age 26.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2016
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