Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Decreasing cervical cancer – one HPV vaccine at a time

Medical personnel showing report to soldier Navy Lt. Jessica Miller, a nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Obstetrics/Gynecology Clinic, discusses cervical cancer screenings with a patient. Starting at age 21, women should get a Pap test every three years. After turning 30, women have a choice - get a Pap test every three years, or get a Pap and human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years. (Photo by Jacob Sippel, Naval Hospital Jacksonville.)

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness Toolkit | Women's Health | Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness Toolkit

Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

With increased use of the Pap test, the cervical cancer death rate has dropped significantly. However, approximately 13,800 new cases of invasive cervical cancer are diagnosed annually, and more than 4,000 women die from the disease each year, numbers from the ACS indicate.

Cervical cancer affects the uterine cervix, a part of the uterus, which can create problems with infertility and blockage of the urinary and bowel tracts. Early detection and prevention methods are key to help women fight and prevent this form of cancer.

According to the Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Air Force Col. (Dr.) Yovanni Casablanca, early stages of cervical cancer could display no symptoms, which is why regular visits with an OB/GYN are important. “Usually the way we know something is going on is that the cervical pap tests are abnormal,” Casablanca said.

While cervical cancer is usually seen in women in their 30s, 40s and after menopause, there are preventative measures a woman can take to reduce their risk.

“There are over 60 different strains of HPV, but only certain types, high risk types, are associated with cervical and other cancers,” said Casablanca, about the cancer causing Human Papillomavirus. “I tell my patients that HPV is a ‘part of life,’ it is very common and everyone who has had skin-to-skin contact with another human has likely been exposed to some strain of HPV. Folks who are exposed to higher risk strains, smoke, or have immunosuppression might be susceptible to the consequences of HPV.”

Casablanca encourages both men and women to get the HPV vaccine in early puberty, before sexual activity begins. The vaccine is highly effective in creating immunity to most of the high-risk strains of HPV. Infection to HPV can be increased through tobacco use, multiple sexual partners, and early onset of sexual activity.

“Any age, race, and ethnicity can get cervical cancer, and it only takes one partner to expose you to HPV,” explained Casablanca.

Treatment for cervical cancer can involve invasive surgeries, which a portion of the cervix is removed. For women who don’t wish to retain fertility, they may sometimes opt for a hysterectomy, removal of the uterus. Like most cancers, in a more advanced phase, chemotherapy and radiation treatments are used.

For more information about cervical cancer, refer to the National Cancer Institute.

You also may be interested in...

Total Force Fitness Physical

Infographic
7/21/2021
Total Force Fitness - Total Body Preventive Health and Physical Fitness - Ability to physically accomplish all tasks while remaining mission capable and avoiding injury

Total Force Fitness - Total Body Preventive Health and Physical Fitness - Ability to physically accomplish all tasks while remaining mission capable and avoiding injury

Recommended Content:

August Toolkit | Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

AJ-Maste Yoga: Tips for a Healthy Deployment

Article
7/13/2021
Military personnel doing a yoga pose

Yoga comes in many forms and fashions, and has proven health benefits.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Total Force Fitness

CHAMP uses more predictive analytics to improve beneficiary healthcare

Article
7/8/2021
A game of tug-of-war

Military health innovation and Total Force Fitness go hand-in-hand.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Health Innovation Month | Health Innovation – Pathways to Ready Reliable Care | Health Innovations across the MHS Enterprise | MHS Research Symposium

Turn Post-traumatic Stress Into Post-traumatic Growth

Article
6/30/2021
PTSD Infographic

Myths and facts about post-traumatic stress (PTS) and post-traumatic growth (PTG).

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | PTSD Awareness Month | Total Force Fitness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Aphasia, Caused by Stroke or TBI, is Frustrating and Little Known

Article
6/29/2021
A doctor looking at brain scans

Aphasia is an incurable disease usually caused by stroke that affects all forms of communication.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Heart Health | Centers of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury

Run Toward the Fire: My journey through mental illness

Article
5/21/2021
Military personnel posing with their children

Air Force Lt. Col. details her struggle with depression, anxiety and suicide ideation

Recommended Content:

Mental Health and Total Force Fitness | Women's Health Month | Women's Health

TFF cogs Environmental 1200x675

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention Month and Environmental Fitness

“Vision and Hearing and Environmental Fitness Ability to perform tasks in any environment"

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Total Force Fitness Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Environmental Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

TFF cogs Physical 1200x675

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention Month and Physical Fitness

“Vision and Hearing and Physical Fitness. Ability to physically accomplish all tasks while remaining mission capable and avoiding injury.”

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Total Force Fitness Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Service women: Plan for your future health care now

Article
5/13/2021
Graphic that has images of different women with the words "women's health transition training"

The online, self-paced Women’s Health Transition Training makes everything you need to know about VA women’s health services available anytime, anyplace.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health Month | Women's Health

Ten ways parents can help kids make good nutritional choices

Article
4/27/2021
Image of a colorful plate outlining the portions and serving sizes of each type of food.

Nutrition is a key element of Total Force Fitness, but it’s just as important to encourage kids to make smart nutritional choices.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Children's Health | Nutritional Fitness

Total Force Fitness COGS Psychological

Infographic
4/26/2021
Total Force Fitness social media graphic showing the multi-colored Total Force Fitness logo, an orange Psychological Fitness shuttlecock.

Total Force Fitness Mental Health and Psychological Fitness Ability to integrate and improve cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capabilities to optimize performance and ensure mission readiness

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Psychological Fitness

Womens Health Week

Infographic
4/26/2021
Social media graphic for Women’s Health Week showing multiple female service members on a purple background.

“Women’s Health Week”

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Women's Health Month | Women's Health

Total Force Fitness Circle Logo

Infographic
4/26/2021
Total Force Fitness logo showing the eight domains swirling in a circle

"Total Force Fitness”

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Mental Health and Total Force Fitness

Total Force Fitness COGS Environmental

Infographic
4/26/2021
Total Force Fitness social media graphic showing the multi-colored Total Force Fitness logo, a green Environmental Fitness shuttlecock.

“Total Force Fitness Mental Health and Environmental Fitness Ability to perform tasks in any environment”

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Total Force Fitness | Environmental Fitness | Mental Health and Total Force Fitness

Women's Health Week

Infographic
4/26/2021
Social media graphic for Women’s Health Week showing multiple female service members on a purple background.

Women now make up 17% percent of U.S. military personnel, and their health is vital to force readiness. Men and women health needs overlap, but different in important ways. The #MHS is committed to addressing women’s preventable health concerns, and encouraging early detection and treatment of disease among women and girls.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health Month | Women's Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 9

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.