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How do I know if I am at high risk for cervical cancer?

All women should follow the screening guidelines for cervical cancer and talk to their doctor about when they should have screening tests.Young female patient reviewing test results with her doctor.

Some women have a higher than average risk of developing cervical cancer. You may be at higher risk if you have:

  • a weakened immune system
  • been exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) before birth
  • constant infection with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • genital warts that are long-standing or difficult to treat
  • cancers related to HPV such as cancer of the anus or vulva

Talk to your doctor about your risk. If you are at higher than average risk, you may need a personal plan for testing. This may include:

  • having Pap tests more often
  • HPV test

Find out more about risk factors for cervical cancer.

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