Recent improvements in screening have reduced the incidence of cervical cancer in women of various ages. Still, hundreds of thousands of women in the United States are living with cervical cancer, and about 4,000 die from the disease every year. Regular cervical cancer screening is paramount for women at any age, but it is particularly important if you are in your 30s or 40s. As with most other cancers, early detection is key to achieving a positive outcome and improved quality of life.
Risk of cervical cancer by age
The majority of women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer are between the ages of 35 and 44. It rarely occurs in women younger than 20. While cervical cancer has the reputation for being a young woman’s disease, more than 15 percent of cases occur in people over 65.
It’s important to note that age isn’t the only major risk factor for cervical cancer. HPV (human papilloma virus) infection can increase your chances of developing cervical cancer at any age, as can other factors, like being overweight, following poor diet habits and using oral contraceptives for long periods of time. Ethnicity also plays a role in cervical cancer risk – Hispanic and African American women are more likely to develop cervical cancer than Caucasian women.
Cervical cancer screening at Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt’s gynecological clinic provides a full spectrum of cervical cancer screening, diagnostics, treatment and supportive care from a multispecialty team in one location. We encourage you to visit Moffitt if you have received an abnormal Pap test result, are displaying symptoms of cervical cancer or would like to consult with a board-certified physician about your risk factors and cervical cancer screening options. No referrals are required to visit our cancer center.