Cervical cancer

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Cervical cancer is malignant neoplasm of the cervix uteri or cervical area. It may present with vaginal bleeding, but symptoms may be absent until the cancer is in its advanced stages.[1] Treatment consists of surgery (including local excision) in early stages and chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced stages of the disease.

Pap smear screening can identify potentially precancerous changes. Treatment of high grade changes can prevent the development of cancer. In developed countries, the widespread use of cervical screening programs has reduced the incidence of invasive cervical cancer by 50% or more.[citation needed]

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a necessary factor in the development of almost all cases of cervical cancer.[1][2] HPV vaccines effective against the two strains of HPV that currently cause approximately 70% of cervical cancer have been licensed in the U.S, Canada, Australia and the EU.[3][4] Since the vaccines only cover some of the cancer causing ("high-risk") types of HPV, women should seek regular Pap smear screening, even after vaccination.[5]

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