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Cervical Cancer Prevention

Cervical cancer screening is simple, quick and painless.
Learn about the different types of cervical cancer screenings below. You can find information in the Resources section on where to go to get a screening.
The Pap Smear

The most common cervical cancer screening is the Pap smear.  The nurse or doctor will do a genital exam to look at the cervix, collect a sample of cells from your cervix, and send it to the laboratory to be examined. Click here to watch a video about the Pap smear.
Visual Inspection

Visual inspection is another test used to screen for cervical cancer.  The doctor or nurse will look for abnormalities after putting vinegar on the cervix. Click here to watch a video about visual inspection.

The HPV Vaccince
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. Click here to watch a video about the HPV vaccine.
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Cervical Cancer Screening

Early cervical cancer usually has no signs, which is why screening is so important.

Cervical cancer screening can detect precancer.  Most abnormal conditions found during the screening are curable.  Precancer can be treated simply and a hospital stay is usually not required. 

Women aged 25 years and older are more likely than younger women to have cervical precancer.  All Ghanaian women should be screened every 3 years from age 25 to 49 and every 5 years between ages 50 to 65 years.

If your cervical cancer screening test is negative, it means that you do not have any changes that might develop into cervical cancer.  It is important that you be screened at regular intervals (every 3 years).

If your test is positive it means you have precancer, a condition that can easily be treated in an outpatient setting.  You might need to have other tests to make sure that what you have is precancer, and not cancer.  Sometimes a positive test means you have cancer.  In this case, you will be referred to a hospital for treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Early cervical cancer usually has no signs, which is why screening is so important.

Signs of cancer are:

  • • vaginal spotting or bleeding after sex, between periods, or after menopause.
  • • foul-smelling discharge that does not go away even with treatment.

Visit a doctor

If you have any of these signs, you should see a health care provider, because the earlier cancer is found, the better your chance of being cured.

Find a doctor near you