Cervical Cancer

Kentucky’s cervical cancer rates are among the highest in the country. The good news is that we can eliminate most cases through prevention of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), timely screening and diagnosis, access to follow-up care and treatment, and changes in cervical cancer-related health policy. All women are at risk for cervical cancer. It occurs most often in women over age 30. Each year, about 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer.cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sex. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives, but few women will get cervical cancer.

Where Can I Go to Get Cervical Cancer Screening at low to no cost?

The Jessamine County Health Department offers low to no cost cervical cancer screenings to Jessamine County residents with no insurance.  Our patients may receive a physical exam which includes a Pap test, breast exam,   mammogram referral (if needed), and a referral for a colonoscopy if medically appropriate. Our fees are based on a sliding scare fee.  Call 859-885-4149 for more information.

Three factors are used to determine eligibility for breast cancer screening: 

  • Age
  • Income
  • Uninsured (no private insurance, no Medicaid, no Medicare).
*Low-cost annual Pap tests are provided to uninsured women at or below 250 percent of the poverty level beginning three years after the onset of sexual activity or no later than 21 years of age.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent, with regular screening tests and follow-up. Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early—

  1. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
  2. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirushuman papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.

 The Jessamine County Health Department suggests the following for cervical cancer screening guidelines:

  • No Pap test until 21 years of age unless a history of abnormal.
  • After three (3) negative Pap test, we recommend only needing a Pap test every three (3) year after turning 21 years of age.
  • After 30 years of age if you have three (3) negative Pap test, with co-testing of negative HPV test, every five (5 ) years, as long as no abnormal in history.
  •  After 65 years of age, if three (3) negative Pap test, with co-testing of negative HPV and no abnormal, can stop screenings all together.

Getting an HPV Vaccine

Two HPV vaccines are available to protect females against the types of HPV that cause most cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Both vaccines are recommended for 11- and 12-year-old girls, and for females 13 through 26 years of age who did not get any or all of the shots when they were younger. These vaccines also can be given to girls as young as 9 years of age. It is recommended that females get the same vaccine brand for all three doses, whenever possible. It is important to note that even women who are vaccinated against HPV need to have regular Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer.

The Jessamine County Health Department provides the Gardasil vaccine.  Gardasil not only protects again HPV but also genital warts (as long as the infection is not already in the body).  Gardasil is also available to boys 9-18 years of age through the VFC (Vaccine for Children) Program.  All services are based on a sliding scale fee.

More about Prevention of Cervical Cancera:

More about Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/risk_factors.htm

More about Symptoms of Cervical Cancer: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/symptoms.htm