Every year many of us commit to taking better care of our health, but we either don’t know how to go about it or think it’s too complicated and costs too much. January is Cervical Cancer Prevention Month and getting screened is one way to start fulfilling your resolution for a healthier lifestyle.
Globally, about 300,000 women die of cervical cancer every year. However, due to improved screening and vaccinations, cervical cancer is now a highly preventable and treatable disease. Do you have children who are 12 years old or older? Are you a female? If you answered yes to either question, then don’t let January end without talking to your health care professional about taking preventive actions for you and your loved ones.
Most cervical cancer cases are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common sexually transmitted virus that, when caught early, can be treated successfully. Most infections can be fought off by your immune system, but two strains of HPV, when undetected, cause 70% of cervical cancer cases.
HPV vaccines were introduced over 10 years ago targeting adolescent girls to protect them against the harmful strains of HPV. The vaccines are given in a series of three injections over a six month period. Since these vaccines were introduced, HPV levels in the United States have dropped by more than 50%. Despite this success, 43% of teenage girls still haven’t received all three injections.
Cervical Cancer Screenings
You should start getting cervical cancer screenings, or Pap tests, at age 21. Women ages 21 to 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years, and women ages 30-65 should have a Pap test combined with an HPV test every 5 years. Check out our cervical cancer prevention guide for more information.
Keep your New Year’s Resolution and help your loved ones have a healthy 2015.
- Take your daughters for HPV vaccinations to significantly reduce their risk for cervical cancer.
- Encourage others to get appropriate and timely Pap tests.
Cervical cancer is still the fourth leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide. Get screened, get vaccinated and spread the word about preventive care. Click here for more information on cervical cancer.
Visit our website to learn more about cancer prevention to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!™