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Why Cervix Screening is Important

Cervix screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer. The cell changes that lead to cervical cancer can happen without you knowing.

Screening can help:

  • Find out if you are at risk for developing abnormal cells in your cervix. Finding and treating abnormal cells early can help prevent cancer.
  • Screening can also find cancer at an early stage – before it can cause symptoms, and when there are more treatment options.

How Cervical Cancer Develops

Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). Cervical cancer may take a long time to develop, and there are usually no symptoms. Most HPV infections will go away on their own without causing any problems. But, if the body’s immune system does not clear an HPV infection, it can cause changes to cells in the cervix over time. These changes happen slowly—it usually takes 15 to 20 years for HPV to develop into cervical cancer.
Finding and monitoring high-risk HPV strains through screening and treating abnormal cells early can help prevent cervical cancer. 

Cervix screening may involve: 

  • A cervix self-screening test, which looks for high-risk strains of HPV that may lead to abnormal cells in the cervix; and/or 
  • A Pap test, which looks for abnormal cells in the cervix and/or HPV.
Patient Stories



Your questions

A positive HPV result might cause some anxiety: This result doesn’t mean you have or will develop cervical cancer. Most people will clear an HPV infection, and not everyone with an HPV infection will develop cancer. 

No screening test is perfect:  Your cervix self-screening result could say no HPV is found even if you have pre-cancerous cells or cervical cancer. Or it might show HPV, even if your cervix cells are normal. Your Pap test result may say there are abnormal cells when there aren’t, or the test may miss abnormal cells that are really there.

Possible concerns and impacts of screening: Screening may lead to unnecessary stress, treatment, or have potential long-term impacts on future pregnancy (pre-term birth or low birth weight). 

​Request a self-screening kit

Or by phone: 1-877-702-6566 
SOURCE: Why Cervix Screening is Important ( )
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