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

Decreasing cervical cancer – one HPV vaccine at a time

Image of medical personnel showing report to soldier. Click to open a larger version of the image. Click to open a larger version of the image. 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...

Proactive screening and detection help to battle breast cancer

Article
10/22/2020
Soldier standing in front of a colorful display with pink ribbon

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health

Weed ACH holds Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month event

Article
10/22/2020
Group of people standing outside hospital

[I]t's important to acknowledge pregnancy and infant loss awareness events because it isn’t healthy for families to suffer in silence.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Women's Health

NH Bremerton relies on experienced nurse to help new moms

Article
10/16/2020
Military personnel gives nurse an award

"Navy Medicine has taken me from novice to expert over a 20 year career..."

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Women's Health | Patient Safety | Nursing in the Military Health System

Women’s mental health mini residency engages with DHA/VA providers

Article
9/28/2020
Female soldier, leaning against a military vehicle, at sunset

Annual training offers another perspective on women’s mental health.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health |

DHA encourages women leaders through Federal Women’s Program

Article
9/4/2020
Navy Rear Adm. Mary Riggs greets Army Maj. Angela Hinkson

What are the right tools for successful women leaders?

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Nursing in the Military Health System

USAF doctor strives to advance women leaders in military medicine

Article
9/1/2020
Photo of Dr. Yun

While the military has come a long way regarding females in the higher ranks, Yun sees more progress to come.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Women's Health | Coronavirus

COVID-19: Lifestyle Tips to Stay Healthy

Article
5/22/2020

As we move toward a third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has changed many of our daily routines in ways no one anticipated and that have become the new normal.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness

3D Mammography Toolkit

Publication
12/19/2019

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | About TRICARE | Women's Health

3D Mammography Infographic 1

Publication
12/16/2019

Share this infographic to spread the word about 3-D Mammography coverage

Recommended Content:

About TRICARE | Women's Health | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance

3D Mammography Infographic 2

Publication
12/16/2019

Share this infographic to spread the word about 3-D Mammography coverage

Recommended Content:

About TRICARE | Women's Health | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance

Talking_Points_3D_Mammography

Publication
12/16/2019

These talking points share information about 3-D mammography

Recommended Content:

About TRICARE | Women's Health | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance

Holiday Food Safety Tip: Keep Cold Food Cold

Infographic
10/16/2019
Holiday Food Safety Tip: Keep Cold Food Cold

Don't let your cold dishes sit out on a counter for more than 2 hours. Keep it chilled at 40 degrees or less.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Holiday Food Safety Tip: Cook Food Thoroughly

Infographic
10/16/2019
Holiday Food Safety Tip: Cook Food Thoroughly

Use a thermometer to ensure your food is cooked to the right minimum internal temperature.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Holiday Food Safety Tip: Marinate Meat Safely

Infographic
10/16/2019
Holiday Food Safety Tip: Marinate Meat Safely

Marinate your food in the refrigerator, and keep it there until you're ready to cook it.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Holiday Food Safety Tip: Wash Your Hands

Infographic
10/16/2019
Holiday Food Safety Tip: Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands often is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 
Showing results 106 - 120 Page 8 of 10

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.