Can cervical cancer develop despite screening?

Proper screening is particularly important to protect against cervical cancer. But how much does it actually bring? In this article, we explain to you whether cervical cancer can develop despite preventive care.

Cervical cancer despite preventive care – this is how you can protect yourself additionally

An important preventive measure apart from the vaccination against cervical cancer is the annual check-up at the gynecologist. Here the PAP smear is carried out, which provides information about any changed cells. This early detection is essential to prevent cancer from forming in the first place. This cannot replace vaccination. 

Practicing safe sex is also important. While a condom doesn’t completely protect against HPV viruses , which can also be transmitted through the skin of the pubic area around the genitals, they do reduce the risk of contracting HPV and many other sexually transmitted diseases. 

Vaccination as cervical cancer prevention

Vaccination is still the best way to prevent cervical cancer . This protects against two high-risk types of HIV, which play a role in 7 out of 10 cases of cervical cancer. This is now administered not only to girls, but also to boys. The vaccination should be administered between the ages of 9 and 14, as this reduces the likelihood that the patient has already been infected with HPV. The service is covered by the health insurance companies. 

Although the vaccination does not protect against all types of HPV, it drastically reduces the risk of cell changes, i.e. precancerous stages.  Nevertheless, there is still the possibility of becoming infected with another, less common virus and thus developing cervical cancer. However, since 70% of cancers are caused by the two high-risk groups against which the vaccine is intended to protect, the overall risk of cervical cancer is clearly reduced. 

That is what cervical cancer is

Cervical cancer, unlike most other types of cancer, is not an inherited disease but one that arises from infection. The human papillomaviruses, also known as HPV, are sexually transmitted viruses, of which a few types can cause cancer over a long period of time. 

This happens because the viruses cause cell changes in the cervix. Undetected, these can progress to cancer over a period of years. 

Statistically, up to 80 percent of all sexually active women will be exposed to HPV at least once in their lives. This is particularly due to the fact that the infection often runs its course without symptoms, especially among men. 

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