Written by Avinash Ramani, M.S. (Biotechnology) , Aishwarya Radhakrishnan | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman, MD on Aug 20, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I see to consult on cervical cancer?

You should see a gynecologist or a gynecologic oncologist for your problem.

2. I have a single sex partner. Do I need to do a pap test?

All women who are sexually active should undergo routine screening to prevent cervical cancer.

It is known that Cervical cancer is more common among women with multiple partners and also among women whose partners have several partners.

3. Why does having multiple sex partners increase the incidence of cervical cancer?

The Human Papilloma Virus spreads through sex. The infection by this virus is very prevalent in the community and the current data from CDC estimates that about 20 million people in the U.S. are infected with HPV. Having multiple sex partners increases the chance of suffering from the infection and hence makes the women more prone to cervical cancer.

However it should also be known that HPV is only a risk factor for the occurrence of cancer and not all women with HPV infection develop cervical cancer.

4. At what age should Gardasil (human papillomavirus vaccine) be administered?

The FDA has approved Gardasil for girls and women between 9 and 26 years.

5. If my mother had cervical cancer - Do I have risk of this cancer?

Cervical cancer is caused by many factors. Unlike breast cancer which can be inherited cervical cancer is not known to be inherited.

6. Is cervical smear or Pap smear painful?

No Pap smear test is not painful. There may be mild discomfort and light spotting for a day or two. If the procedure is painful or the spotting heavy - you should make sure there is no underlying infection.

7. Is the Pap smear very accurate in detecting cancer?

Yes Pap smear is very reliable. However no test is 100% foolproof. Many labs follow a double reporting system to check for errors.

8.Which age group of women are more prone to cervical cancer?

In India ,cervical cancer peak age incidence is in the early 50s. Cervical cancer is extremely rare in women younger than age 20.

9. What should I know about screening for cervical cancer?

The Pap test is recommended for women aged 21-65 years old. The Pap test only screens for cervical cancer. A Pap test is a procedure to collect cells from the surface of the cervix and vagina. A piece of cotton, a brush, or a small wooden stick is used to gently scrape cells from the cervix and vagina.

10. How often should I be screened for cervical cancer?
  • Women ages 21 - 29 should be screened once every 3 years with a Pap test.
  • Women ages 30 - 65 should be screened with either a Pap test every 3 years OR a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years.
  • Women age 65 and older no longer need Pap tests as long as they have had regular Pap tests with normal results. Women who have been diagnosed with pre-cancer should continue to receive regular screenings.
11.What can cause precancerous cells in the cervix?

Cervical dysplasia is the abnormal growth of precancerous cells on the surface of the cervix. The precise cause of cervical dysplasia is not known. Studies have found a strong association between cervical dysplasia and HPV infection. Without treatment, 30 to 50% of cases of severe cervical dysplasia progress to invasive cancer.

12. How can I lower my chances of getting cervical cancer?
  • Do not smoke.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners or use condoms in such situations.
  • Get an HPV vaccination
  • Get a regular Pap smear.
  • Maintain good vaginal hygiene
13. Is cervical cancer infectious?

The cancer itself is not contagious.

14. Is cervical cancer curable?

The prospect of a complete cure is good for cervical cancer diagnosed at an early stage, although the chances of a complete cure decrease, the further the cancer has spread.

15. After a radical hysterectomy will I be able to have sex?

Yes, you will be able to have intercourse, usually without any difficulties, because the vaginal tissues are very stretchy. If you encounter problems you can schedule an appointment with your gynecologist.

16. Will I be able to have children after treatment for cervical cancer?

It depends on how early the cancer is detected. The earlier the cancer is found, the more higher the chances are to preserve your fertility.


Judy06 Monday, May 5, 2014

What is the symtoms of having cervical cancer?

emran Tuesday, September 6, 2011

can penis penetrate into the cervix kind regards

indus Thursday, March 11, 2010

What is the incidence of ca cx in India in 2010? kindly support with references.

heer28 Friday, January 29, 2010

Cervirax is considered to be effective before any contact with semen, but if somebody is using coitus interruptus method of contraception is it of any use or not????

michael0156 Friday, May 22, 2009

The vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix won't reduce cancer incidence or deaths. They will divert hundreds of billions of health care dollars to the coffers of pharmaceutical companies.

HPV infections, advertised to be the cause of cervical cancer, are slow and handled by our immune systems in over 90% according to the CDC/FDA/American Cancer Society

Women who don't clear HPV infection have immune problems caused by nutritional deficiencies, toxic exposure, toxin ingestion or genetics.

If an immune system can't clear an HPV infection no vaccine can help. Vaccines are passive targets and can't fix an immune system unable to identify or destroy HPV

HPV is controlled by intracellular immune response. Vaccine stimulate the humoral, antibody, response. Antibodies fight bloodborne infections and will not appreciably affect the rate of cervical HPV infections and CANNOT combat an active HPV infection

This will be proved in 20 years when vaccines are shown to have failed

guest Saturday, September 19, 2009

You're correct in stating that the vaccines will not combat those already infected. However, they have been proven to prevent infection of the HPV strains 6,11,16, and 18. Women don't have to have an "immune problem" caused by toxins, etc. to not clear the infection.I suggest you check your facts before posting such erroneous statements.

guest Saturday, September 26, 2009

I made no errors. Over 90% of us clear all HPV infection without drugs doctors or vaccines [FDA], a properly functioning immune system doing it's job. Chronic infection is caused by an immune system problem as I described

Gardasil has NOT been proven to prevent HPV infection, except by conflicted Merck research

A humoral response cannot prevent HPV infection of epithelial tissue, but cell mediated response can. Vaccines to provoke a cell mediated response are being developed. Until then Merck will be defrauding its customers with your help

Gardasil is the largest medical fraud in history perpetrated by Merck, maker of Vioxx and Pargluva, their two previous medical frauds.

Less than 1% of women chronically infected with HPV develop cervical cancer. This is not a cause and effect relationship. Read the Markovics' (oncologists) opinion that HPV and cervical cancer are together merely by coincidence, due to HPV being common and cervical cancer being rare.

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