Cervical Cancer

This information is useful for adults and older adults
A young woman who may have survived cervical cancer stands smiling.

The fatality rate for cervical cancer has plummeted. Once the deadliest cancer for women, it is now 14th on the list. This incredible success story is rooted in early screening and prevention. 

From the Pap smear to the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine, Yale Medicine has been at the forefront of developing widely used and incredibly effective diagnostic techniques and treatments for cervical cancer.

The majority of cervical cancer cases are tied to HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that will affect more than 80 percent of women over the course of their lifetime. "But just because you have it does not mean you will develop cervical cancer," says Yale Medicine's Elena Ratner, MD, co-chief of  Gynecologic Oncology Program. "So the most important thing is reducing the rate of it is with the new HPV vaccines."