Cervical Health Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer.
About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease. HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer.
The good news?
- HPV can be prevented with the HPV vaccine.
- Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.
A Pap test can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer. Most deaths from cervical cancer can be prevented if women get regular Pap tests and follow-up care.
How can Cervical Health Awareness Month make a difference?
We can use this opportunity to spread the word about important steps women can take to stay healthy.
Here are just a few ideas:
- 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 their pre-teens to get the HPV vaccine.