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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Care for Yourself - Cervical Cancer

They count on you. You can count on us.

Putting off getting screened for cervical cancer? Don’t.

Schedule a free screening today.

Movie nights, school concerts and anniversaries just wouldn’t be the same without you there. Be around for countless moments to come by setting up a free or low-cost cervical cancer screening with the Care for Yourself program. Contact us or call 1-866-339-7909 today.

Why are cervical cancer screenings so important?

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV. This common virus can be passed from one person to another during sex and is so common that most people get it at some time in their lives. There are many types of HPV, some of which can cause changes to a person's cervix which can then lead to cervical cancer.

It was estimated in 2020 alone, 13,800 cases of invasive cervical cancer would occur among women in the United States, with 4,290 deaths expected. While in Iowa, approximately 110 cases of cervical cancer were expected to be diagnosed.

That’s why it’s so important you get screened, especially if you have any symptoms of cervical cancer, including:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Bleeding that starts and stops between regular menstrual periods
  • Menstrual bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than usual
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding after a pelvic exam
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Increased vaginal discharge

Fortunately, most cervical cancers develop slowly and can prevented if you’re screened at recommended intervals.

Do you have any risk factors?

Having a risk factor doesn’t mean you’ll get cervical cancer. It simply means it’s important to receive early detection screening services. Cervical cancer risk factors include:

  • Having many sexual partners
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Having a compromised immune system
  • Long-term use of birth control pills
  • High number of childbirths

Early detection could save your life.

In addition to preventing cancer, cervical screening can detect cancer early, when treatment is most successful. Two tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:

Learn more about what to expect at the visit.

And help reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by talking to your doctor about your risks and medical history. Be sure to follow your doctor's recommendations on screening intervals and age-appropriate vaccination.

Did you know there’s a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer? The CDC recommends beginning the HPV vaccine between 11-12 years of age.

Learn more about the vaccine and HPV here.

They count on you. You can count on us.

You have so many people who love and need you. Don’t put off important health screenings because you’re worried you can’t afford them.

Contact us or call 1-866-339-7909 to see if you’re eligible for free or low-cost cervical cancer screenings with the Care for Yourself program.