Can cervical cancer be prevented?

January is Cervical Health Awareness month.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States, but this has changed.

The CDC reports that about 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 4,000 American women die of the disease.

The decline is largely because women are getting regular Pap test, which can find precancerous cells.

â??(A Pap smear) does not tell you if you have cervical cancer or not, but it does tell you if you have some cells that might need to be looked into,â?? Anastasia Solovieva, M.D., with OBGYN Care of Northeast Missouri said.

Solovieva said the goal of care it to prevent the progression of precancerous lesions if found. She said people may be surprised at who is most at risk to get cervical cancer.

â??What many people don't actually realize is that cervical cancer is actually a disease of young women,â?? Solovieva said.

She said people who are between the ages of 30 to 40 had the highest incidence of cervical cancer.

Solovieva said recommendations for a Pap smear is not universal for every woman and is something an individual and her physician should discuss. She said once you identify any abnormality itâ??s easy to treat.

â??If women get regular screenings, the prevalence of cervical cancer will go down to zero,â?? Solovieva said.

For more information on cervical cancer, click HERE.