Start the New Year off right by participating in the national Cervical Cancer Health Awareness & Screening Month. This yearly January event gives advocates a chance to raise awareness and teach women about the growing need to protect themselves from cervical cancer and HPV (human papillomavirus). Most cervical cancers are almost always caused by the HPV virus.

Each year in the United States, an estimated 12,820 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer.  It was once one of the most common causes of cancer deaths, but today cervical cancer has become one of the most preventable. Over the last 30 years, the rates of cervical cancer have diminished by more than 50%. The reason for this change is due to the increase in appropriate screenings and vaccination (Pap and HPV tests).

Regular screenings, along with follow-up care, can help detect abnormal cell changes early, which can be treated before it turns into cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, starting at age 21, a regular cervical cancer screening can help you prevent the disease.

Another way to help prevent cervical cancer is to vaccinate against HPV which causes most cases of cervical cancer. According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, it is recommended that girls and boys, age 11 or 12, receive the HPV vaccine.  About 79 million Americans currently have HPV. Many people with HPV don’t know they are infected.  

Facts about Cervical Cancer:

  • Cervical cancer is mainly caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Most deaths from cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.
  • Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer.
  • There are two types of screenings:
    • HPV tests help detect the HPV virus.
    • Pap tests help detect cervical cancer.

How can you make a difference?

Support a friend or loved one this January by spreading the word about the importance of cervical cancer awareness and screening. No woman should ever die from cervical cancer. Early detection saves lives. If you are due for a cervical cancer screening, please call your doctor, OB-GYN or health clinic to schedule one now. For more information about Memorial Healthcare cancer screenings, Click Here.