Michigan Association of Health Plans

When is the last time you had a Cervical Cancer screening?

This story appeared in Priority Health’s ThinkHealth Blog. Read more here

Nearly 14,100 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2022, and an estimated 4,280 women will die from cervical cancer this year. But if detected early enough, it is one of the most treatable forms of the disease.

Cervical cancer is preventable and treatable, thanks to screenings and vaccinations. If found in the early stages when cancer has not spread outside the cervix or uterus, the five year survival rate for cervical cancer is about 92 percent.

Get your screenings regularly.
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of cervical cancer is to get a Pap test, or Pap smear, and human papillomavirus (HPV) test done by your doctor. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that plays a role in causing cervical cancer.

These tests find precancerous cells before they turn into invasive cancer, improving the chances of successful treatment.

According to the American Cancer Society:

  • All women should begin cervical cancer screening at age 25, however, some health plans will cover screenings as early as 21 years old. Check with your health plan for screening and coverage options.
  • Women aged 25 to 65 should have a HPV test every five years.
  • Women aged 25 to 65 should have a Pap test just once every three years, or have a combined Pap and HPV test every five years.
  • Women aged 65 and older who have had regular screenings for 10 years with normal results do not need to be screened for cervical cancer. Those diagnosed with cervical pre-cancer should continue to be screened.
  • Women who have had a total hysterectomy and no history of cervical cancer or pre-cancer do not need to be screened.
  • Women who have had the HPV vaccine should follow the screening recommendations for their age group.
  • Women at high risk for cervical cancer – including those with HIV infections, organ transplant recipients or those exposed to DES, a synthetic estrogen, while in utero – may need to be screened more often and should consult their doctor.
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