CERVICAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
This January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month. The annual event is an effort to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer.
Roughly 20 million americans currently have HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease. HPV is a major cause of abnormal Pap smears and cervical cancer.
The good news is that many cases of HPV can be prevented with the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (known as a Pap test) and careful follow-up care. Early detection is crucial and most deaths form cervical cancer could be prevented by regular Pap tests.
What can you do?
• The health care reform law covers well-woman visits and cervical cancer screenings, so depending on your insurance, these services may be available at no cost to you
• If you are the parent of a pre-teen, understand the importance of administering the HPV vaccine
• The CDC also has a helpful web page on Making Sense of Your Pap and HPV Test Results