Most cervical cancers are caused human papilloma viruses (HPVs). HPV infection is very common, and most people with HPV infection do or do not develop cancer.
Cervical Cancer: Symptoms and Signs
- Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods.
- Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual.
- Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination.
- Increased vaginal discharge.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Bleeding after menopause.
- Unexplained, persistent pelvic and/or back pain.
Cervical cancer prevention
One of the easiest ways to prevent cervical cancer is by getting screened regularly with a Pap smear and/or hrHPV test. Screening picks up precancerous cells, so they can be treated before they turn into cancer.
HPV infection causes most cervical cancer cases. The infection is preventable with the vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix. Vaccination is most effective before a person becomes sexually active. Both boys and girls can be vaccinated against HPV.