Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina). Unlike other cancers, cervical cancer is not hereditary. It is caused by certain types of a virus, called the human papillomavirus (HPV). When a woman becomes infected with one of these types of HPV, and the virus doesn’t go away on its own, abnormal cells can develop in the lining of the cervix.
If these cells are not found early, pre-cancer and then cancer can develop. Vaccination with GARDASIL is important, but it does not replace routine cervical cancer screenings. Pap smears look for abnormal cervical cells in the lining of the cervix. Our goal is to find these abnormal cells before they have a chance to become pre-cancer or cancer. Most often these cervical changes takes a number of years. However, in rare cases it can happen within a year. For this reason, it is essential that women are screened routinely.
At Tree of Life Medical, we ensure that all women have regular screenings for cervical cancer and provide information, counseling and treatment for HPV and/or cervical changes associated with HPV.
For a full list of recommended immunizations in childhood and adulthood, see below: