January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month – It’s a cause we need to be aware of so we can be sure to educate ourselves on how to get the best care in prevention.
What is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month?
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. During January, you can be a part of the cause by highlighting issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection. Some of the issues you may wish to highlight are personal stories of women and family members/caregivers battling issues related to their persistent HPV/precancer and/or cervical cancer. You may wish to highlight recent advances and research in the prevention, detection and treatment of cervical cancer or HPV. You can highlight the success of your local/regional early detection cervical cancer screening and treatment programs and human-interest stories on the importance of early detection, education and the emotional issues related to battling cervical cancer and HPV.
If educated and given the appropriate direction, women will most likely choose to get the recommended screenings. Researchers found that women 65 and older still think it’s important to get a regular screening, even though they were advised that there’s no need to continue pap tests as long as earlier tests have been normal. However, studies also showed that many would stop if advised to do so by their doctor.
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus). Unlike other cancers, cervical cancer is not passed down through family genes. Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of a virus—human papillomavirus or HPV. During a pap test, cells are collected and checked for abnormalities. HPV or Human Papillomavirus can be present in the body for years before problems occur. But, if caught early cervical cancer is highly treatable and curable. Women should begin having pap tests at age 18 or at the start of sexual activity.
To learn more about Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, please visit the National Cervical Cancer Coalition website.