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As with most cancers, earlier detection means higher survivability. That has never been truer with cervical cancer. With regular once a year PAP smears, the cancer can be detected and prevented years in advance. Cervical cancer cells are slow to develop and at the first sign of cellular abnormality, these can be quickly removed in an outpatient procedure that is only slightly worse than the actual PAP smear.
I know this tip first hand. One of my regular PAP smears detected these pre-cancer cells. If I let them go, I would have developed cervical cancer. I didn't chance it, had the cells removed, and now have PAPs every six months to ensure they don't come back. A little mortification is better than the alternative.