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Czech Gynaecological and Obstetrical Society | Ministry of Health | Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University |       Institute of Biostatistics and Analyses, Masaryk University
GlaxoSmithKline     Roche |

Other sources of information
Cervical cytology (in Czech)www.cipek.cz
Cervical cytology
Cancer Screening in the European Unionec.europa.eu
Cancer Screening in the European Union (2017)
[ 10,6 MB]
SVOD - Epidemiology of malignant tumours in the Czech Republicwww.svod.cz
Epidemiology of malignant tumours
in the Czech Republic
NCI Bethesda System
HPV College


Cervical cancer: Prevention

1. Regular gynaecological examinations

Cervical cancer can be relatively easily prevented by having regular gynaecological examination each year. A regular gynaecological checkup can reveal the so-called precancerous lesions which can be treated very effectively. Of course, some changes might pass unnoticed – particularly the so-called endocervical tumours, which are located outside the reach of cervical smear; if these changes should later develop into cancer, they would be almost certainly revealed as precancerous lesions during the subsequent examination, with a chance of complete cure exceeding 95%.

2. Safe sex

Having a steady partner – or using condom consistently if there is no steady partner – is another important preventive measure. In 99% of cases, cervical cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is very easily transmitted during sexual intercourse.

3. HPV vaccination

There are two vaccines licensed (i.e., doctors can prescribe them) in the Czech Republic. The vaccines don’t protect against all types of HPV (and women may be infected with more than one type), so it is not guaranteed that they will prevent cervical cancer. It is, however, expected that vaccination will prevent most of the more serious precancerous changes (CIN 2 and 3). The vaccines are given by injection into the muscle, usually the upper arm or thigh. Three separate doses are needed. The second and third doses are given two months and six months after the first dose.

The HPV vaccines are aimed to prevent HPV infection. They provide the best protection to girls who have not started sex life yet. There is no evidence that the vaccine works in anyone who has HPV infection or abnormal cells changes in the cervix (CIN). Women who are over 21 years old are advised to have a cervical smear test before immunisation with the vaccine.

Vaccinated women will still need to attend their routine cervical smear tests. This is because there are other types of HPV linked with cervical cancer which the vaccines are not active against. The vaccines are not a substitute for cervical screening. It is very important that women continue to go for regular cervical smears (performed during preventive gynaecological examinations).

4. Other preventive measures

HPV infection is a necessary but insufficient condition for the development of cervical cancer. There are many other factors contributing to the development of cancer, such as smoking, unhealthy diet or other examples of unhealthy lifestyle. You can find more information on cancer prevention on specialized websites.

Last updated on 9 January 2015