Cervical Health Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about how much women can protect themselves from HPV (human papilloma virus) and cervical cancer. HPV is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity. It’s also a major cause of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer was one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. However over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%. The main reason for this change was the increased use of screening tests. Screening can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early-in its most curable stage. Another way to prevent cancer is to get vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes most cases of cervical cancer.
The American Cancer Society is actively fighting cervical cancer on many fronts. We are helping people get tested for cervical cancer, helping them understand their diagnosis, and helping them get the treatments they need. The American Cancer society also funds new research to help prevent, find, and treat cervical cancer.
We can use this opportunity to spread the word about important steps women can take to stay healthy.
- Encourage women to get their well-woman visit this year.
- Let women know that the health care reform law covers well-woman visits and cervical cancer screening. This means that, depending on their insurance, women can get these services at no cost to them.
- Talk to parents about how important it is for pre-teens to get the HPV vaccine. Both boys and girls need the vaccine
So let us all do our part in being an advocate for our own health.
If you have questions or concerns please contact your family physician.