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Thursday, January 11, 2024

Data: Women in this Age Group Are at Greater Risk for Cervical Cancer

Posted By: Advancing Care

Medically reviewed by Akiva Novetsky, MD

First, the good news: the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been shown to make a positive impact on cervical cancer rates.

  • HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection, is a leading cause of cervical cancer, affecting over 80% of sexually active individuals
  • Notably, cervical cancer rates are decreasing among U.S. women aged 20-24

Here are the current vaccination guidelines:

Cervical Cancer Awareness ribbon

The bottom line for parents and young women? Discuss the HPV vaccine with your doctor, or pediatrician for children aged 11 or 12. If missed earlier, vaccination is still effective—and recommended—for individuals through age 26.

Older demographics, on the other hand, face a different set of challenges, as studies show the rate of advanced-stage cervical cancer is on the rise among this population. A big reason for the increase in this age group, according to the study: screenings decline as ages rise.

Historically annual, current recommendations extend cervical cancer screening intervals to every three to five years based on age and risk factors. Some experts believe this change in screenings have led to a rise in late-stage cases. Cervical cancer often progresses silently in early stages without noticeable symptoms.

The bottom line for all ages:

  • Discuss the recommended frequency of screenings based on age and risk factors with your doctor
  • Share any changes in symptoms, such as bleeding after sex, pelvic pain and unusual discharge, promptly for timely investigation

WMCHealth’s Advanced OB-GYN Associates is a full-service obstetrics and gynecology practice serving women from adolescence through their senior years.  Schedule your women’s health appointment by calling 914.493.2250.  We have convenient locations throughout the Hudson Valley. Similar services are also available through WMCHealth’s Bon Secours Medical Group.

For customized treatment for cervical cancer, call 914.493.2181 to request an appointment or to make a referral.