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We can stop cervical cancer by making full use of the tools we have

Cervical cancer is a 100% preventable cancer. We have two great tools—HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening—which are both important in preventing cervical cancers. Photo: Pexels

(Melissa Hartman/ John Hopkins School of Public Health) — Thanks to two effective tools—prevention with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines and screening with HPV and Pap tests—cervical cancer is nowhere near the killer it was a century ago, when it was the leading cause of cancer deaths of U.S. women. 

Today, the disease is preventable—yet about 14,000 people were diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S. last year, and more than 4,000 died.

For Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, we spoke with cancer epidemiologist Gypsyamber D’Souza, PhD ’07, MPH, MS, about who’s most at risk for this cancer—and what we can do to further reduce its death toll. 

In the U.S., cervical cancer is a rare cancer because the majority of cancers are detected by screening when they are still pre-cancers (and treatment prevents them from becoming cancer). (…)