Cervical Health Awareness Month gives a chance to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. HPV is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity, and it causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.
About 79 million Americans currently have HPV. Many people with HPV don’t know they are infected. And each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.
The good news?
- The HPV vaccine (shots) can prevent HPV.
- Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.
Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer. Most deaths from cervical cancer could be prevented by regular screenings 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 screening visit this year.
- Let women know that most insurance plans must cover well-woman visits and cervical cancer screenings.
- Talk to parents about how important it is for their pre-teens to get the HPV vaccine. Both boys and girls need the vaccine.