Tips and advice from your neighborhood
UNC Health Blue Ridge Providers.


Main Causes

Multiple Sexual Partners

Weak Immunity

Contraceptive Pills

Cervical cancer easily
treated when caught early
ervical Cancer Awareness
Month is January, but you
may not know much about this
disease that can easily be treated if
caught early.

Cervical cancer is most frequently
diagnosed in women between the ages
of 35 and 44 with the average age at
diagnosis being 50. It was once one
of the most common causes of cancer
death for American women. However,
the death rate dropped significantly
with the increased use of the Pap test,
used to examine the cells of the cervix,
the lower part of the womb.
Pre-cancers of the cervix
Cells do not suddenly change into
cancer. Instead, the normal cells of the
cervix first gradually develop abnormal
changes that are called precancerous.
Doctors use several terms to describe
these pre-cancerous changes, including
cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
(CIN), squamous intraepithelial lesion
(SIL), and dysplasia.
Although cervical cancers start
from cells with pre-cancerous

changes, only some of the women
with pre-cancers of the cervix will
develop cancer. For most women, precancerous cells will go away without
any treatment. But, in some women
pre-cancers turn into invasive cancers.
Treating cervical pre-cancers can
prevent almost all cervical cancers.
Cervical cancer screening

The goal of cervical cancer
screening is to find pre-cancer or
cancer early when it is more treatable
and curable. Regular screening can
prevent cervical cancers and save lives.
The tests for cervical cancer screening
are the human papillomavirus (HPV)
test and the Pap test. Precancerous
changes can be detected by the Pap
test and treated to prevent cancer from
The HPV test looks for infection
by high-risk types of HPV that are
more likely to cause pre-cancers and
cancers of the cervix. HPV infection
has no treatment, but a vaccine can help
prevent it. The HPV test can be used
alone (primary HPV test) or at the same
time as the Pap test (called a co-test).

High Number of Pregnancies

One of the best things you can do
to keep from getting cervical cancer
is to get regular screening for it. Your
doctor or nurse can tell you how
often you need to get tested. General
guidelines say if you are 25 to 65
years old, you should get a primary
HPV test every 5 years. If you cannot
get a primary HPV test, get a co-test
(an HPV test with a Pap test) every 5
years or a Pap test every 3 years.

Having regular screening tests can
help find changes before they become
cancer, and can also help find cervical
cancer early, when it’s small, has not
spread, and might be easier to treat.


Most people don’t know if they
have HPV, so it’s important to get
tested regularly. There’s also a
vaccine available. Even if you’ve
gotten the HPV vaccine, you still
need to get regular testing through
age 65.

please call the Women’s HealthMorganton at 828-580-4661.

(Sexually Transmitted Diseases)

We take care of the women who take care of our community.
Schedule your appointment today at one of
our convenient locations:
Women’s Health-Morganton
2209 South Sterling Street,
Suite 400
Morganton, NC 28655
(828) 580-4661

Women’s Health-Marion
2293 Sugar Hill Road, Suite C
Marion, NC 28752
(828) 652-3019

Women’s Health-Hickory
2134 14th Avenue Circle NW
Hickory, NC 28601

Women’s Health-Valdese
110 Hilltop Street
Rutherford College, NC 28671

(828) 580-2129

(828) 580-7430 | 828-580-5000