How to prevent cervical cancer

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LONE TREE, Colo. -- New research from the CDC shows that one in five adults in this country is infected with human papillomavirus, or HPV.  That can cause multiple kinds of cancers, including cervical cancer.

That’s not something 30-year-old Jenny Card ever thought she’d have to worry about.  But one day last fall, while she was shopping with her family, she started to hemorrhage.  “I had to run out of the store,” she said.

The mother of two from Castle Rock went in for testing and her doctor told her she had HPV and cervical cancer.

“When you find out you have cancer,” she said.  “It’s scary.”

Jenny had a radical hysterectomy at Sky Ridge Medical Center, and is now doing great.  But she wants to make sure that other women are getting their pap smears to test for HPV and cancer.

“I actually waited 8 years because I didn’t feel comfortable. I didn’t like it. You know, it’s not a fun time.  But the thing is, if I would went in yearly, or every three years, I would have never had cancer,” she said

Dr. Glenn Bigsby, Jenny’s gynecologic oncologist at Sky Ridge, says prevention is key.  “We now 100 percent know it is associated with HPV infection, and so that can be detected on a pap smear,” Dr. Bigsby said.

Plus, there are now vaccines available for girls and boys around age 11 or 12.  Both can carry and transmit HPV.

Jenny Card says her children will get the vaccine.  “You don't want your son or daughter to be 30 years old, and saying they have cancer,” Card said.