Pacific Cancer Programs

Uterine-Cervix Cancer

Cervical Cancer Information for:

Practitioners

Program Managers and Coalition Members

The Community

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Publication of the ACOG Committee Opinion

In September 2013, an expert panel on cervical cancer screening in the U.S. Territories and Pacific Island Jurisdictions met to explore screening strategies to improve the rates and efficacy of cervical cancer screening in the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. This Committee Opinion summarizes the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists based on the deliberations and findings of the expert panel.

This Committee Opinion resulted from the Expert Panel on Cervical Cancer Screening in the US Territories and Pacific Island Jurisdictions meeting in September, 2013. (link)

Read the Commitee Opinion by clicking >HERE<

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later. When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer.

The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. Also known as the womb, the uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The cervix connects the upper part of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal).
Cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent, because there is a vaccine and a screening test available. It also is highly curable when found and treated early.

Know Your Risk

All women are at risk for cervical cancer. It occurs most often in women aged 30 years and older. In 2004 (the most recent year for which statistics are currently available), 11,892 women in the United States of America were told they had cervical cancer, and 3,850 died from the disease.
It is important to get tested for cervical cancer because 6 of 10 cervical cancers occur in women who have never received a Pap test or have not been tested in the past five years.

Cervical Cancer and HPV

The human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex, is the main cause of cervical cancer and also causes many vaginal and vulvar cancers. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives. Keep in mind, many people will have an HPV infection at some time in their lives, but few women will get cervical cancer.

  • More details, including medically graphic images, can be found at the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: CDC - Cervical Cancer.
  • For more details from the CDC about HPV please visit the CDC's dedicated HPV site: CDC - HPV.

On-Line Tools

Siteman Cancer Center: Online Cervical Cancer Risk Questionnaire
To estimate your risk of cervical cancer and learn about ways to lower that risk, take a few minutes to answer some questions about your health, background, and lifestyle.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable kinds of cancer. Once a leading cause of cancer death in the US, cervical cancer is now much less common. The reason? Regular screenings with Pap tests that can help prevent the disease or catch it early when it’s most treatable. And a new cervical cancer vaccine for youth should boost the potential of prevention even further.

MedlinePlus - Cervical Cancer
MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news.

Questions and Answers about Cervical Cancer for the Public

Cervical Cancer Information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) among others, provide many on-line cancer resources. Please make sure you visit their constantly updated websites, reflecting the latest scientific findings and visit the links for more information about cervical cancer.

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

NCI is funded by the US federal government, and publishes information about different forms of cancer on the Internet.

American Cancer Society (ACS)

ACS is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)

  • The Public Health Programme is dedicated to improving the health, and therefore the future, of all Pacific Islanders. To see a list of selected publications from SPC’s Healthy Pacific Lifestyle, please click here.

Note: There are many breakthroughs in developing more effective prevention strategies for cervical cancer, both for early detection and HPV vaccine. To make sure you get access to the most up-to-date information, we recommend you check the web sites of RHO, IARC and ACCP. If you have limited Internet access we recommend you start with RHO's archive, which is conveniently organized by subject.

Printable materials to download (PDF)

This section has PDF (Adobe Acrobat format) files of useful resources created by various agencies that can be downloaded directly from the pacificcancer.org website. The organization, year of publication and size of the pdf file are listed.

ASCO Answers: Cervical Cancer

ASCO Answers is a series of fact sheets that provides an introduction to a specific type of cancer. Each fact sheet is a PDF that includes an overview of what the cancer is, an illustration of where the cancer starts, how it is treated, terms to know, and questions to ask the doctor. American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2008, 2 pages.

What You Need to Know About Cervical Cancer

A brochure in a series of “What you need to know” produced by NCI. This booklet tells about diagnosis, staging, treatment, and follow-up care in greater detail. This publication can be ordered for free via postal mail or downloaded via PDF file (55 pages).

Cervical Cancer Fact Sheet

Download the PDF from the CDC's Inside Knowledge campaign.

Quick links online:

CDC information specifically about cervical cancer click: Cervical Cancer Basic Information

A six-minute Podcast with an overview about cervical cancer can be found on the CDC website. You can also download the file (4MB) and listed to it off-line.

Traditional Medicine

In many cultures traditional medicine plays an important role in treating the sick or addressing disease. Traditional medicine, and its practice and philosophical and cultural manifestations differ greatly from culture to culture. There is not one size fits all explanation for traditional medicine. In many Pacific cultures traditional medicine play a vital role in a communities health care, but it is ultimately up to the individual to seek help from traditional healers or not.
In the past decade the term ‘integrative medicine’ has become more common, where both Traditional and Western medical concepts can work hand in hand, focusing on what is best for the patient. Many people may seek the advice from the traditional healers in their culture, but may be reluctant to disclose this to their Western doctor. Traditional medicine can be very beneficial for many ailments, although cancer is such a complex disease that using traditional medicine alone might not be the best available treatment option. Traditional medicine has been very successful in treating e.g. nausea or rashes that often go along with many cancer treatments and western medicine might provide little relieve.
If you chose to consult a traditional healer please try to discuss this with your doctor or contact your cancer coordinator to find out what treatment options are available on your island.

  • To find out more about CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) form the National Cancer Institute (NCI), please click here.

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Funding for this website was made possible by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the following:
Pacific CEED, award #: 5U58DP000976,USAPI Community Health Interventions Project (CHIP), award #: 1U58DP005810,
Pacific Regional Central Cancer Registry, award #: 5U58DP003906; Regional Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, award #: U55/CCU923887.
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Funding Sources: PRCCR: #: 5U58DP003906  | Pacific REACH: #: 1U58DP005810 | RCCC: #: U55/CCU923887 

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