Cervical Health Awareness Month
Cervical Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about women protecting themselves from HPV and cervical cancer. Here are just a few facts about cervical health that you might not be aware of:
- Every year, more than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States.
- 91 percent of women who catch cervical cancer in its early stages survive.
- Cervical cancer is most common in women 35-44 years of age.
- Six out of ten women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer have never had a pap smear
Can I Reduce my Risk of Cervical Cancer?
The answer is yes. There are many things women can do to reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer, including:
- Get pap smears regularly – Pap smears detect cervical changes prior to cancer forming. Check with your physician about how often you should get a pap smear.
- Follow up after having an abnormal pap smear – Follow up tests or colposcopies are necessary if you have an abnormal pap smear.
- Practice safe sex – Women with fewer sexual partners and women who practice safe sex decrease their risk of developing HPV, which is one of the causes of cervical cancer.
- Get vaccinated – The HPV vaccine prevents the formation of high-risk strains of HPV. The vaccine is most effect for young women who are not sexually active. If you are older than 27, you might not be eligible for the vaccine.