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September is Gynecologic Awareness month

Posted Sep 28 2010 3:57am

What you need to know about Cervical cancer

 

  • More than 11,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Yet, cervical cancer is highly preventable because it’s the only cancer with a single known cause: HPV ( human papillomavirus ). Eight out of 10 women are estimated to get HPV at some point in their lives, but the virus usually goes away on its own. However, HPV may persist in some women and cause abnormal cells to develop into cervical cancer. Today, we have the tools available to stop cervical cancer: screening technologies such as Pap and HPV testing allow for early detection of cervical cancer, while vaccines for girls can prevent future infections of the cancer-causing HPV strains.
  • The Pap looks for abnormal cell changes indicative of cervical disease/cancer, while HPV testing can identify women with the key risk factor for cervical cancer- HPV – so that monitoring and follow-up can be put in place before cervical cancer can ever develop. As many women are confused about these tests – and what their results could mean – we are working to educate women about these prevention tools, and how to understand test results
  • So What Should I Do? There are 3 key tools for cervical cancer prevention, dependingon your age:
    • Age 9-26: Consider the HPV vaccine
    • Age 21-29: Get a regular Pap test
    • Age 30 and older: Ask for an HPV test together with your Pap test

Resources: More Information

  • www.TheYellowUmbrella.org and www.Say-Something.org:  Cervical cancer survivor and rocker Christine Baze and celebrity make-up artist Debra Macki.  This is their advocacy and education Websites. Christine shares her story, advice and music. (Did you get a make-over at our booth at BlogHer? The eye make-up kit we used is also sold via Christine’s site, and proceeds go to cervical cancer prevention.)
  • www.healthywomen.org/healthtopics/cervicalcancer - the National Women’s Health Resource Center info page on cervical cancer prevention
  • www.nea.org/tools/15236.htm - A tool from the National Education Association’s Health Information Network specifically for Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
  • http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/womens/new-hpv-test - Great article from the April issue of Good Housekeeping explaining the differences between Pap testing, HPV testing and HPV vaccination.
  • www.theHPVtest.com – Comprehensive info on HPV, tools to understand and track HPV and Pap results, frequently-asked-questions, patient stories, and tips on "what to do" and “what your test results mean.” We also recently started a Protect Yourself from Cervical Cancer facebook page )


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