A  A  A   Print
Can I Get Checked for Vulvar Cancer Before I Have Symptoms?

Can I Get Checked for Vulvar Cancer Before I Have Symptoms?

Doctor and patient talking
Ask your doctor how often you should have a Pap test, HPV test, and pelvic exam. These tests can help spot certain vulvar, vaginal, and cervical cancers.

Screening tests check for signs of disease in people who don't have any symptoms. Screening for vulvar cancer can catch changes early. That's when doctors can treat any precancer or cancer cells more successfully.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women have regular checkups to help spot certain gynecologic cancers. Doctors examine the vulva during these checkups, which also include a pelvic exam and may include a Pap test and HPV testing.

Here are the ACS general recommendations for how often you should have Pap tests, HPV tests, and pelvic exams to screen for gynecological cancers if you are at average risk:

  • All women should have Pap tests starting at age 21.

  • Women between ages 21 and 29 should have a Pap test at least every three years.

  • Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have a Pap test plus an HPV test (called co-testing) every five years. This is the preferred approach, but it is also acceptable to continue to have Pap tests alone every three years.

  • Women over age 65 who have had regular screening with normal results in the previous 10 years should not be screened for cervical cancer. Once screening is stopped, it should not be started again. 

  • A woman who has had a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix for reasons not related to cervical cancer and who has no history of cervical cancer or serious precancer should not be screened.

  • A woman who has been vaccinated against HPV should still follow the screening recommendations for her age group.

 
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.