The scary news: Cervical cancer is one of the world’s deadliest forms of cancer. The hopeful news: It’s also one of the most easily preventable.
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, a chance to bring attention to cervical cancer and spread the word about important steps women can take to stay healthy.
Cervical cancer is a disease in which normal cells on the surface of the cervix change, grow, and form a tumor . According to the American Cancer Society, there were more than 12,000 reported new cases of cervical cancer in the U.S. in 2014, resulting in more than 4,000 deaths. Worldwide, though, cervical cancer kills nearly 300,000 women, and 85 percent of those cases occur in developing countries.
Why the disparity? Screening tests.
Since the 1950s, deaths from cervical cancer in the U.S. have dramatically declined by 70 percent thanks to increased use of screening tests. . Diagnosis of cervical cancer is most commonly determined by a Papanicolaou (Pap) test or a human papillomavirus (HPV) test, both of which are considered preventive care under the Affordable Care Act and can be performed by your healthcare provider .
Cervical cancer is deadly, but preventable. This January, make an appointment to get screened for cervical cancer, and don’t forget to encourage the women in your life to do the same.
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. You can view SWHR’s resources and factsheets on cervical health here.
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR ®) is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education.