Cervical Cancer (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Cervical cancer facts
- What is cervical cancer?
- How do women get cervical cancer? What causes cervical cancer?
- What are the symptoms and signs of cervical cancer?
- What are the risk factors for cervical cancer?
- What are cervical cancer screening guidelines?
- What tests are used to diagnose cervical cancer?
- What are the stages of cervical cancer?
- What is the treatment for cervical cancer?
- What are methods of treatment for cervical cancer?
- Is it possible to prevent cervical cancer? What is the cervical cancer vaccine?
- What kind of support is available to women with cervical cancer?
- What is the prognosis of cervical cancer? What are the survival rates for cervical cancer?
- What research is being done on cervical cancer?
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Is it possible to prevent cervical cancer? What is the cervical cancer vaccine?
Cervical cancer can often be prevented with vaccination and modern screening techniques that detect precancerous changes in the cervix. The incidence of cervical cancers in the developed world declined significantly after the introduction of Pap screening to detect precancerous changes, which can be treated before they progress to become cancer.
Moreover, vaccines are available against the common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. Gardasil and Gardasil 9 are HPV vaccines. Original studies with Gardasil showed it to be very effective in preventing infection by four common HPV types (6, 11, 16, and 18) in young people who were not previously infected with HPV. Gardasil 9, a newer version of the vaccine, was approved in December 2014 and provides immunity to nine HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58).
Learn more about: Gardasil 9
Vaccination should occur before sexual activity to offer the full benefit of the vaccine. The CDC recommends that 11- to 12-year-old girls receive the HPV vaccine, and young women ages 13 through 26 should get the vaccine if they did not receive any or all doses when they were younger. Gardasil is also approved for use in males aged 9 to 26, and the CDC recommends Gardasil for all boys aged 11 or 12 years, and for males aged 13 through 21 years who did not receive the full three vaccination series. Men can receive the vaccine up to age 26.
Learn more about: Gardasil
What kind of support is available to women with cervical cancer?
As with any cancer diagnosis, emotional support from family, friends, clergy, a counselor, or support group can help you and your family learn about the illness and cope with the diagnosis and effects of treatment. Every woman is different, and different women will be comfortable with different kinds of support systems. For those who prefer a more organized form of support, patient and family support groups are offered by cancer treatment centers, hospitals and clinics, and national advocacy organizations. Your place of worship may also provide cancer support groups. There are even online support groups for those who prefer this option.
The following is only a partial listing of sources for emotional and coping support for those with cervical cancer:
- The American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer Survivors Network
- I Can Cope (online) is an ACS-sponsored online course in coping with cancer
- The National Cancer Information Center provides information and support to those facing cancer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Trained cancer information specialists are available via phone (1-800-227-2345), email or live chat.
- The National Cervical Cancer Coalition offers online support groups and coping resources.
- ACS guide on sexuality for women with cervical cancer, during and after treatment
Find out what women really need.