Three cheers for pap smears
Cervical cancer has been in decline thanks to early detection
The number of cases of cervical cancer in the US has decreased significantly over the last 40 years. This decrease is largely due to more women getting regular Pap smears – it is estimated that 105,000 to 492,000 cases of cervical cancer have been prevented as a result of screening!
Getting a Pap smear can save your life!
Despite the overall reduction in cases, there are still 13,000 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed every year in the United States, with approximately 4,000 women dying each year as a result.
Early detection is critical
When detected early, people with invasive cervical cancer have a 92% 5-year survival rate.
The 5-year survival rate for cervical cancer that has spread to surrounding tissues, organs and/or regional lymph nodes is 58%. The 5-year survival rate for cancer that has spread to a distant part of the body is 18%.
How often should you get tested?
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for cervical cancer every three years with a Pap test alone in women aged 21 to 29 to help prevent or detect it early.
Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should be screened every three years with a Pap smear alone, every five years with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) testing alone, or every five years with both tests.