Cervical cancer

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Screening for cervical cancer

Screening means checking for a disease in a group of people who don’t show any symptoms of the disease. Screening tests help find cervical cancer before any symptoms develop. When cervical cancer is found and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better.

If you’ve ever been sexually active, you should start having regular Pap tests by the time you’re 21. You’ll need a Pap test every 1 to 3 years, depending on your previous test results.

Find out more about cervical cancer screening.

Pap test

A procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix (the lower, narrow part of the uterus, or womb) and examined under a microscope.

The Pap test is used to detect precancerous changes to the cervix and cervical cancer.

Also called Papanicolaou test or Papanikolaou test.

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Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

Learn more