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HealthInfo Canterbury

Cervical cancer

The best way to protect yourself from cervical cancer (also called cancer of the cervix) is by having regular smear tests.

The changes that lead to cervical cancer happen slowly. These early changes do not cause any symptoms and smear tests are the only way to pick them up. Most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented by treating these early changes.

The most common cause of cervical cancer is human papilloma virus (HPV).

If cancer of the cervix does develop, the symptoms might be: bleeding between periods, bleeding after sex or bleeding after menopause. These symptoms do not always mean you have cervical cancer but it important to get them checked out by your doctor if you do have them.

Treatment options for cervical cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: HPV & cervical cancer vaccine

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Canterbury DHB. Page created November 2016.


See also:

Cancer treatments & their side effects

Page reference: 301179

Review key: HICES-20461