Learning more about the connection between HPV and cervical cancer will help women understand the new Pap smear guidelines that our Round Rock obgyns follow. HPV, or human papillomavirus, is the primary cause of cervical cancer. According to the World Health Organization, HPV Type 16 and Type 18, cause 70% of precancerous cervical lesions and cervical cancers. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) changed the interval for screening for cervical cancer and added HPV testing due in part to the link between HPV and cervical cancer.
When researchers discovered the strong link between HPV and cervical cancer, ACOG began to recommend that women with an average risk of cervical cancer between the ages of 30 and 65 have co-testing, consisting of a Pap smear and an HPV test, every five years. Women ages 21 to 29 only need a Pap smear every three years because the vast majority of women in this age group who are sexually active have HPV, but often the virus clears up by itself within a few years.
The HPV and cervical cancer link means that women should take every precaution to prevent HPV. HPV is very prevalent. In fact, it is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the U.S. However, taking the following steps can help prevent cervical cancer that is caused by HPV.
Understanding the connection between HPV and cervical cancer helps patients understand the importance of cervical cancer screening and prevention. Our Round Rock obgyns not only have the knowledge to prevent cervical cancer, but they also have the experience to accurately and compassionately diagnose and treat the condition. Women should contact us to make an appointment.