Cervical Cancer Facts & Resources

An overview of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix. The cervix, which is a lesser known body part, is the lowest portion of the uterus which connects the uterus to the vagina. When screening for cervical cancer, cells are collected from this area and tested for high-risk HPV (human papillomavirus).

Once one of the most common causes of cancer death in American women, the incidence of cervical cancer declined significantly thanks to early screening.1 Unfortunately, over the past few years, screening has been on the decline and cervical cancer rates are rising.

Following the start of the pandemic, cervical cancer screening dropped by 94% and remained 35% below pre-pandemic levels even after stay-at-home restrictions were lifted. The HPV vaccination, one of the strongest tools we have for preventing cervical cancer, also saw rates decline by more than 70% in March 2020.2

According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer rarely occurs in people who have been getting regular tests to screen for cervical cancer.1 Screening saves lives, yet preventable diagnoses and deaths are still happening. Lack of awareness and education, shame, fear, and access to quality healthcare with a trusted provider are just a few of the many reasons women avoid routine screening.

Additionally, the method for screening has remained the same over the years. The inconveniences of going to a doctor’s office for a cervical cancer screening test include, but are certainly not limited to: time, geography, and the perceived and actual discomfort of screening exams.

We cannot let these factors continue to impede all of the progress that’s been made in women’s health—especially for a disease that is so preventable.

Women deserve better.
Teal is on a mission to get all women screened for cervical cancer.

Current state of cervical cancer in the United States:
Facts & Figures3

Cervical cancer is nearly 100% preventable, yet


cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in 2024.


women will die from cervical cancer in 2024.


of cervical cancer cases are among women who are not up-to-date on their screening.

30-44 years old

Cervical cancer incidence in the US is increasing in women 30-44 years old.

3rd most common

Cervical cancer has moved up to become the third most common cancer death among young women after an uptick since 2019.

Current United States screening guidelines:


Screening tests and frequency^ for people with a cervix between 25-65 years:

People with a cervix between 25-65 years:

Screening frequency 
if a history of normal results^

Primary HPV test

Recommended Screening Method

every 5 years

Recommended Screening Method

This screening test looks for a current HPV infection. HPV tests are highly sensitive. They detect HPV with 94.6% sensitivity overall5, with a 96.1% sensitivity6 when it comes to identifying changes in cervical cells that pose a higher risk. Detecting HPV is critical because having prolonged, high-risk HPV is the single most important risk factor in developing cervical cancer, as almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV.

Co-test (Pap smear & HPV test)

every 5 years

A co-test includes a high risk HPV test & the Pap smear test.

Pap smear

every 3 years

A Pap smear (or Pap test) is a screening method used to sample the cells of the cervix to test for changes which could indicate precancer or cancer of the cervix. Usually, this is due to an infection with a type of high-risk HPV.

^ If your results are abnormal, please follow up with a provider to be sure that you get additional testing and ensure your next screening is scheduled appropriately.

How screening currently works7:


Cervical cancer screening is performed in-person, usually during your annual exam with your primary care provider or at your annual well-woman appointment with your OBGYN. 


To screen for high-risk HPV, the clinician collects the cells (using a speculum & cervical brush). The clinician then inserts the brush into a preservation solution. See below for the future of screening.


The solution is then sent to the lab with an order from the physician to perform either the HPV test and/or Pap smear on the sample.


Results are reported to the patient within 1-3 weeks. If results are Abnormal, speak to a doctor about follow up steps.


All insurance covers the cervical cancer screening test according to the guidelines (3-5yrs), most cover it every year.

The current screening process is resulting in health inequities that need to be addressed:

Asian Women are

Least likely to get screened, with over a third never being screened or being overdue.8

hispanic women are

40% more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than white women.9

black & native american women have

a cervical cancer death rate that is 65% higher than white women.3

The future of at-home cervical cancer screening

Teal Health’s focus is on getting all women screened for cervical cancer. The opportunities for improved access and early cancer detection through widespread, at-home self-collect testing are very promising.

Today, 1 in 4 women in the US are not up-to-date on their cervical cancer screening. In Teal’s initial clinical study, 87% of the women who participated said that if at-home self-collection were available, they would get screened on time, every time. Additionally, 94% of participants said they preferred self-collection compared to having a clinician collect a sample with a speculum and a brush.10 Learn more about Teal Health’s current SELF-CERV clinical study to support FDA submission, how self-collection will work when FDA approved, and how it compares to the current screening method - the speculum exam.

Here are some of the ways we predict at-home self-collect cervical cancer screening will have a positive impact on women’s healthcare:

Join us in creating an equitable and accessible women's healthcare system - starting with cervical cancer screenings.

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