The development of some cervical cancers is stopped by early detection and treatment during the precancerous stage of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Vaccines are available to protect preteens who are 11 or 12 years old and young women through age 26, adds the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cervical cancer affects the cells in the lower part of the uterus, states the American Cancer Society. Most cervical cancers develop slowly. During this stage, cervical cells undergo detectable precancerous changes in their structure and appearance. Routine screenings, such as Pap smear and the human papillomavirus test, allow early identification.
Some types of cervical cancer develop from the human papillomavirus, informs the American Cancer Society. Because the virus is sexually transmitted, the CDC recommends vaccinating all boys and girls during their preteen years. Individuals who were not vaccinated in childhood are advised to protect themselves against cervical cancer with catch-up vaccines.
Changing lifestyle factors that are linked to cervical cancer further prevent the disease, notes the American Cancer Society. Women who had three or more full-term pregnancies, had their first pregnancy at 17 years or younger, and those who used an intrauterine device all had a lower risk of developing cervical cancer. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables help to lower the risk of developing the disease.