Cervical Cancer Screening Health Tip
January is Cervical Cancer Screening Month. Cervical cancer begins in the cervix. Cervical cancer was once the number-one cause of death from cancer in women. Thanks to the Pap test, which can screen for this cancer, the number of women in the United States with cervical cancer has decreased dramatically. With the Pap test, doctors can also find changes in the cervix when they are still precancerous. It is the only gynecological cancer, currently, that can be prevented through routine screening.
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Here is why:
- You can mostly control the risk factors.
- The Pap test is a highly effective screening test.
- There is an approved vaccine to prevent some of the most common types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). That’s the virus that causes many types of cervical cancer.
- A test for HPV provides an added tool to screen for early signs of infection when treatment options are most effective.
Some statistics regarding cervical cancer:
- More than 12,000 women will find out they have invasive cervical cancer this year.
- 4,000 or more women will die from cervical cancer this year.
- Hispanic women and African-American women are more likely to get cervical cancer than non-Hispanic white women.
- Half of the women who get cervical cancer will be between the ages of 35 and 55 years of age.
- 99% of all women who have cervical cancer also have HPV (human papillomavirus) There are 100 different types of HPV.
- Over the last 50 years, routine Pap test screenings for cervical cancer has reduced the number of deaths from this cancer by 2% every year.
- Cervical cancer is the second-most common cause of death from cancer in women across the world.
- Cervical cancer rarely affects women under age 20, and approximately 20 percent of diagnoses are made in women older than 65. For this reason, it is important for women to continue cervical cancer screening until at least the age of 70. Some women need to continue screening longer, so ask your health care provider what’s best for you.
To protect yourself, learn about the risk factors. Then take action to avoid the ones you can. Make sure you regularly see your doctor for a Pap test and pelvic exam. While you’re at your doctor’s office, ask about the HPV vaccine. This can be very important for you and your daughters. Also ask about the HPV test. Early vaccination along with regular screening is the best way to prevent cervical cancer.
YOU CAN PREVENT CERVICAL CANCER. VACCINATE EARLY. GET A PAP TEST REGULARLY. HPV TEST WHEN RECOMMENDED.
For more information go to: www.nccc-online.org
Be informed, be aware, be safe and healthy!
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