Gynecologic Oncology Program

Prevention Guidelines

Avoiding certain risk factors and engaging in other protective factors may help to lower one's risk of certain gynecologic cancers. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Being Overweight
  • Not getting enough exercise or physical activity
  • Persistent infection with high risk Human Papillomavirus
  • Lack of regular follow up and screening with Pap Tests

There are some risk factors that we can't change including our:

  • Advancing age and being female
  • Having a personal and/or family history of BRCA mutation and/or ovary or breast cancer
  • Having a personal and/or family history of Lynch Syndrome and/or colon or endometrial cancer
  • Infertility or no pregnancies
  • Tamoxifen use for breast cancer

Following a healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, keeping your blood pressure and diabetes under good control and management, and seeing your doctor regularly for screening and evaluation are all measures that you can take to help lower your cancer risk.

Cervical Cancer Screening

  • Women younger than 21 years of age should not be screened.
  • Women between the ages of 21 and 65 without risk factors (DES exposure or immunodeficiency) should undergo cytologic screening (PAP test) every 3 years
  • Those aged 30-65 wishing to extend the screening interval could undergo screening with both cytologic exam (PAP test) and human papillomavirus testing (HPV) every 5 years
  • Women older than 65 and who have been adequately screened (with no prior history of CIN2+ in the last 20 years) should not be screened.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
The American Cancer Society
American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology
American Society for Clinical Pathology

Vaccination Recommendations for Females:

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2012.