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Cervical Cancer: Five Facts You Need to Know 

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.  Next to breast cancer, it’s the second most common type of cancer for women worldwide. In the United States, an estimated 14,480 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2021. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 4,200 women will die because of this diagnosis.

Women of all ages are at risk of cervical cancer. This cancer forms in tissues of the cervix — the organ connecting the uterus and vagina. According to this study, most diagnoses occur in women between 35 and 44, with the average age of diagnosis being 50. About 20 percent of cervical cancers are diagnosed after age 65. Experts suspect it is because these women did not receive regular cervical cancer screenings before age 65.


Here are five important facts about cervical cancer you should know.


#1 – What Causes Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is commonly caused by a form of human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be transmitted through sexual activity. HPV can be present for years without causing any symptoms and can be passed on to others without knowing. The Centers for Diseases Control reports more than 20 million people are currently infected with HPV worldwide, and another 6.2 million will contract the virus each year.

#2 – What are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer?
Early-stage cervical cancer often presents no symptoms, which is why it is often referred to as a “silent killer.” But as the disease advances, signs and symptoms will be hard to ignore. Examples include pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, painful urination, unusual discharge, abnormal menstrual cycles, pain or bleeding after sex, anemia, urinary incontinence, and back pain. 

#3 – When Should Cervical Cancer Screenings Start?
Experts at the American Cancer Society recommend women begin cervical cancer screenings at age 21, with women ages 30 to 65 being screened with both the Pap test and the HPV test annually. Most women who develop cervical cancer have not been screened in at least five years, and about half of them have never been screened in their lifetime. Screening allows for early detection, often allowing medical professionals to stop cervical cancer even before it starts. 

#4 – What are the Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer?
Several risk factors can increase your chance of developing cervical cancer. Women who smoke are about twice as likely as non-smokers to get cervical cancer.  Someone who became sexually active at a young age (younger than 18) or has many sexual partners. Research also suggests that long-term use of oral contraceptives can increase the risk. Family history can also be a factor. Women with a sister or mother who had cervical cancer are two to three times more likely to develop the disease. 

#5 – Can you Prevent Cervical Cancer?
Because cervical cancer is typically caused by HPV, the easiest way to prevent cervical cancer is to get an HPV vaccine. The vaccine helps your immune system create an antibody response that protects your body against the infection. A Pap smear can detect abnormal changes to the cervix before they develop into cancer. More than half of the women in the United States who get cervical cancer have never had or rarely had a Pap smear. Women need to make an appointment with a primary care physician or gynecologist to have this test completed. 

The HPV test is a screening test for cervical cancer. The test detects the presence of HPV. Unlike a Pap smear, a doctor’s appointment is not necessary. Any Lab Test Now offers  HPV Home Collection Kits available online for purchase. Women can take a vaginal swab in the privacy of their own homes. The HPV test from Any Lab Test Now is highly accurate, and test results are usually back within two to three days after the lab receives the specimen. A positive HPV test result can be alarming, but it does not mean cancer. However, it does require follow-up with your healthcare provider.

New Year, Better You…Take Care of Yourself 

Any Lab Test Now wants you to take care of yourself. We provide a safe and clean alternative location for lab work, including HPV testing to monitor signs of cervical cancer. Create a fresh start in 2022, utilize Any Lab Test Now for access to 8000+ lab testing options designed to help you monitor the health of your body. Each of our 200+ locations is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with recommended cleaning practices. 

We want you to Take Control of Your Health® when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including determining the health of your thyroid. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. 

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at


January Marks Cervical Health Awareness Month!

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. It was created to shed light on how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. HPV is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity, and it causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.

Awareness campaigns and improved testing are changing the statistics for the better. However, more than nine of every 10 cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. Cervical cancer can be largely prevented by the HPV vaccine.

  • Even so, every year in the United States, an estimated 200,000 women are diagnosed with a cervical pre-cancer, or abnormal cells on the cervix, which can lead to cancer.
  • Cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. Still, more than 4,000 women die from the disease each year.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact. Most sexually active women and men will be infected at some point in their lives, and some may be repeatedly infected.

In addition to cervical cancer, HPV can cause other types of cancers in both men and women, including:

  • Vaginal and vulvar cancer in women
  • Penile cancer in men
  • Anal, throat, and tongue cancer in both men and women

There are many types of HPV, and many do not cause problems. HPV infections usually clear up without any intervention within a few months after acquisition, and about 90 percent clear within two years. A small proportion of infections with certain types of HPV can persist and progress to cervical cancer.

Although most HPV infections clear up on their own, as do most pre-cancerous lesions, there is a risk for all women that HPV infection may become chronic and pre-cancerous lesions progress to invasive cervical cancer.

It takes 15 to 20 years for cervical cancer to develop in women with normal immune systems. It can take only five to 10 years in women with weakened immune systems, such as those with untreated HIV infection.

Based on a person’s age, overall health, and personal risk of cervical cancer, some things can be done that may prevent pre-cancers and conditions that lead to pre-cancers.


HPV vaccines are available to help protect children and young adults against certain HPV infections. These vaccines protect against infection with the HPV types most commonly linked to cancer.

To be most effective, the HPV vaccines should be given before a person becomes sexually active. The reason is that these vaccines only work to prevent HPV infection — they will not treat an infection that is already there.

While the HPV vaccine can be started at age 9, the CDC recommends all boys and girls get two doses of the HPV vaccine at ages 11 or 12.

Other things that may help lower the risk for cervical cancer include:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Use condoms during sex
  • Limit the number of sexual partners

Women’s Health

While HPV affects both women and men, there are conditions that affect women more than men and this month is the perfect time to establish a health baseline that gives a fresh look into overall health conditions.  Any Lab Test Now® has a Comprehensive Female Health Panel that looks at hormone imbalances and is designed for women at all stages of their life to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare goals for the new year. It includes blood counts, a metabolic panel which includes kidney and liver functions, female hormones, thyroid, heart health, and nutritional status.

Screening Tests

One of the most important things a person can do to prevent cervical cancer is to get regular screening tests starting at age 21.

There are several options available. One is a pap test, which looks for pre-cancerous cells on the cervix that could turn into cervical cancer if not detected early and treated appropriately. This test must be performed in a doctor’s office or medical clinic setting.

The second option is an HPV test. This test looks for the human papillomavirus, which can cause pre-cancerous cell changes. While this test can be done in a doctor’s office, it is also available in a take-home test kit.

Any Lab Test Now offers HPV screening tests for both women and men, which can be ordered online from select locations and conducted in the privacy and comfort of their own home.

The kit is easy. After a sample is collected, the specimen is sent to the testing laboratory using the prepaid shipping envelope and label contained in the collection kit.

If the test is positive for HPV, we recommend sharing the results with a primary care physician or gynecologist or contact our telemedicine partner, DialCare.

It is also a good idea to share the results with recent sexual partners so they can get tested as well.

Click here to learn more about the HPV test for women.

Click here to learn more about the HPV test for men.

Be at Ease

Please check the website for a location near you. You may be able to purchase your HPV test in-store. You can be at ease knowing Any Lab Test Now provides a safe and clean location as each of our 185+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life.

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at

Cervical Cancer: Risk Factors & Prevention Tips

Every year in the United States, approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and close to 4,000 die from it. Are you at risk? Are you doing what you can to prevent it from happening to you?

You may be at risk if you… 

  • Are living with HIV/AIDS or any other condition that weakens your immune system.

  • Smoke regularly.

  • Are overweight.

  • Maintain a diet low in fruits and vegetables.

  • Have been infected with HPV or chlamydia.

  • Have used oral contraceptives for over 5 years.

  • Have had 3 or more full-term pregnancies.

  • Had your first full-term pregnancy under the age of 17.

  • Have a family history of cervical cancer.

You can prevent cervical cancer by…

Receiving a regular cervical cancer screening by your gynecologist, starting at age 21. Women aged 21-29 should have a Pap test every 3 years. At age 30, women should be screened with a Pap test combined with an HPV test every 5 years. This “co-testing” should continue until age 65.

Due to the effectiveness of routine Pap test screening, the cervical cancer death rate in the United States has declined by more than 50% over the last 30 years. If you have not been screened for cervical cancer, Any Lab Test Now® encourages you to Take Control of Your Health® and contact your gynecologist today.