Cervical Cancer: Prevention and Early Detection

Semin Oncol Nurs. 2017 May;33(2):172-183. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2017.02.005. Epub 2017 Mar 23.


Objective: To review effective methods of prevention that can be used to control the incidence of cervical cancer and detection strategies that can identify the precancerous lesions before they become true cancer.

Data sources: Current medical, scientific and nursing literature, and national and international guidelines of cervical cancer.

Conclusion: Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by specific types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Prophylactic vaccination for HPV provides the most effective method of primary prevention against HPV-related diseases. The use of the Pap test and HPV test, according to published guidelines, provides the most effective means of screening for cervical cancer.

Implications for nursing practice: Nurses are in a key position to provide health education with the goal of supporting vaccine uptake and screening guidelines.

Keywords: HPV vaccination; cervical cancer; cervical cancer screening; early detection; education.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer / nursing
  • Early Detection of Cancer / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role
  • Oncology Nursing / methods
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / nursing
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / nursing
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaccination / nursing
  • Vaccination / standards*