Cervical Health PDFs: American Sexual Health Assoc.
NJ Cervical Cancer Coalition PDF
New Jersey Dept. Health Cancer Control/Prevention
Info For Men
Source: Zufall Health
The cervix is the lower third of the uterus. The small hole in the center of the cervix, called the os, serves a passageway into the uterus. This is what dilates or stretches during birth. The os also serves as a passageway for menstrual blood.
The cervix feels like a half-sphere at the end of the vaginal canal and is where a diaphragm, cervical cap, or sponge can be placed to prevent pregnancy. Collection of abnormal cells from the cervix during a pap smear can indicate a possibility of cervical cancer but may also be a simple infection. It is important to have regular pap smears and HPV tests to maintain the health of your cervix and surrounding reproductive organs.
All women are at risk for cervical cancer, although it occurs most often in women over 30. Each year, about 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer. It disproportionately impacts poor women. African-American and Hispanic women have higher rates of cervical cancer than whites.
Early on, cervical cancer may not cause signs and symptoms. Advanced cervical cancer may cause bleeding or discharge from the vagina that is not normal for you, such as bleeding after sex. It may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor.
Despite evidence that cervical cancer screenings save lives, approximately 8 million U.S. women between the ages 21 and 65 have not been screened for cervical cancer in the past five years. More than half of the new cervical cancer cases occur in women who have never been screened or rarely have been screened for the disease. This statistic may be due to lack of awareness or lack of access to health care.
Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent with regular screening tests and follow-up. It also is highly curable when found and treated early.