What you need to know about cervical cancer

chinacdc.cn | Updated: 2023-01-13
1. What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a malignant tumor that occurs in the epithelial tissue of the cervix. Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer.
2. What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer often has no obvious symptoms in the early stage. With the progress of the disease, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge and other symptoms will gradually appear.
3. What risk factors are related to cervical lesions?
The main pathogenic cause of cervical cancer is persistent infection with high-risk HPV. Other high-risk factors include:
1. A family history of cervical cancer
2. Early sexual activity
3. Early childbirth (before the age of 18)
4. Immunosuppressive treatment
5. Multiple sexual partners or sexual partners who have multiple sexual partners
6. HIV infection
7. Other sexually transmitted diseases
8. Smoking or drug addiction
4. How is HPV infection prevented in daily life?
Establish a sense of self-protection. Have safe sex and use condoms correctly to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. 
5. Will HPV vaccination prevent cervical cancer?
Yes. Women aged 9-45 can receive HPV vaccines. The earlier the vaccination in this age group, the better the protection effect. Women aged 9-15 are the key group.
6. Is regular cervical cancer screening necessary?
Yes. Women aged 35-64 should receive regular cervical cancer screening and timely treatment when finding precancerous lesions, which can prevent the progression of the disease to cervical cancer.
7. How often should women undergo cervical cancer screening?
Every 3-5 years.
8. Is it necessary to undergo cervical cancer screening after HPV vaccination?
Yes. Whether you have received HPV vaccination or not, you should undergo cervical cancer screening regularly.
9. What is in the national cervical cancer screening program?
It includes gynecological examination and cervical cancer primary screening (cervical cytology or high-risk HPV test). If the results of primary screening are abnormal, a colposcopy should be performed, the results of which will determine whether a histopathological examination should be conducted.
10. Is it necessary to receive treatment if the results of a cytology or HPV test are abnormal?
Abnormality of a cytological examination or HPV test results cannot be used as the final diagnosis of the disease. Professionals, i.e., doctors, should make a comprehensive evaluation based on the examination results and individual conditions, and then determine whether further examination or treatment is needed.