Frequently Asked Questions about Cervical Cancer: Misconceptions Explained 


Q: Can I get cervical cancer if I have received the HPV vaccine? 

A: While the HPV vaccine provides strong protection against the most common high-risk HPV strains that cause cervical cancer, it does not guarantee complete immunity. It is still possible, although less likely, to develop cervical cancer even after vaccination. Therefore, regular cervical cancer screenings are still important for early detection and prevention. 

Q: Can men get cervical cancer? 

A: Men cannot develop cervical cancer since they do not have a cervix. However, they can contract and transmit HPV, which can lead to other types of cancers, such as anal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers. 

Q: At what age should I start getting cervical cancer screenings? 

A: Most healthcare guidelines recommend starting cervical cancer screenings around the age of 21, regardless of sexual activity. However, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider, as recommendations may vary based on individual factors and regional guidelines. 

Q: Is cervical cancer hereditary? 

A: The majority of cervical cancer cases are not inherited. While having a family history of cervical cancer may slightly increase the risk, it is primarily caused by HPV infection and other environmental and lifestyle factors. 

Q: Can I prevent cervical cancer by quitting smoking? 

A: Yes, quitting smoking can reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer. Smoking weakens the immune system and increases the likelihood of persistent HPV infection and progression to cervical cancer. Quitting smoking is beneficial for overall health and can lower the risk of various cancers, including cervical cancer. 

Q: How often should I have a Pap test or HPV test? 

A: The frequency of Pap tests or HPV tests can vary depending on factors such as age, previous test results, and guidelines in your country or region. Generally, it is recommended to have a Pap test every three years for women aged 21 to 65. HPV testing may be done in conjunction with the Pap test or as a primary screening method. It’s best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized recommendations. 

Remember to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice and follow recommended guidelines for cervical cancer screenings, prevention, and vaccination.