No woman should die of cervical cancer

I know I can get on a rant about our over-focusing on cancer screening. But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t areas things need improving. From the CDC:

More than 12,000 women get cervical cancer every year. Up to 93% of cervical cancers are preventable. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination helps prevent infection with the HPV types that cause most cervical cancers. The Papanicolaou (Pap) test screens for abnormal cells that may develop into cancer and the HPV test screens for the HPV virus that causes these cell changes. Even though screening works, 10% of women in the US in 2012 reported they had not been screened in the last 5 years. Every visit to doctors and nurses is an opportunity to discuss cervical cancer prevention.

Cervical cancer is somewhat special because it’s so preventable. There’s a vaccine to help prevent infection with HPV, the cause of most cervical cancers. And Pap smears are pretty damn good at catching it in time. Too many women people don’t get the vaccine. Too many women forego their recommended Pap smears.


As the CDC says, “No woman should die of cervical cancer.” I agree.


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