Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in the genital area of women. The tumor does not develop overnight, but usually takes years to develop. It is therefore vital to recognize cancer at an early stage.
“No other cancer screening method is as successful as that for cervical cancer. The Pap test and the HPV vaccination are important components of the recommended cancer screening tests and cancer preventive measures, ”says Dr. Herbert Heidegger, primary of the gynecology and obstetrics department at Merano hospital. There is an innovation regarding early detection: women from 30 to 65 years of age should take the HPV test every 5 years. This allows the doctor to recognize whether there is an infection with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Pap test for women up to 30
HPV is transmitted through sexual intercourse and can cause cervical cancer. On the other hand, women up to the age of 30 are invited to the Pap test and only to an HPV determination if the results are positive. The reason for this: Young women have infections with HPV viruses relatively often, but they disappear on their own or are successfully suppressed by the body. This means that the young women are temporarily positive for HPV without cancer. However, it is best if no infection occurs at all.
In order to protect young women in particular, the public health service in South Tyrol offers all girls from 11 to 17 years a free vaccination against HPV (3 vaccination appointments, refreshment after 2 or 6 months). These early detection and preventive measures are a simple but safe contribution to your own health: Since the introduction of the Pap test as a series check-up, the number of women suffering from cervical cancer has decreased significantly, even in South Tyrol.