A guide to cervical cancer

15% of school children are not protected against the human papillomavirus HPV virus which is linked to 99% of cervical cancer cases. 

25% of females aged 25 – 62 did not attend their cervical screening appointment 

What is cervical cancer?

Women (or those assigned female at birth) are born with a cervix. The cervix is part of the female reproductive system and forms a canal between the vagina and womb. Cervical cancer is caused by cell changes in this area.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

Include painful sex, unusual vaginal bleeding, changes to discharge and pain in the pelvis or lower back. Smoking, having sex at a young age, having multiple sexual partners and a weakened immune system are all additional risk factors.

How is HPV linked to cervical cancer?

Over 99% of cervical cancer cases are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is very common and transferred via skin-to-skin-contact and during sex. High-risk strains (e.g. HPV 16 and 18) can lead to cervical cancer.

Can I prevent cervical cancer?

YES! By: 1. Attending regular cervical screening appointments (from 25 years of age)  2. Completing a full HPV vaccination
course at school (2 doses are usually given to Year 8 and 9 students). Boys and girls should get the vaccination.