If you follow our blog, you’ve probably noticed that we post a bunch about awareness months, weeks and days. It’s part of our mission to bring a bit more attention to what’s going on out there and how you can get involved. This will be our first awareness post for 2014, and it’s for National Cervical Health Awareness Month.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer for women in the world. According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), more than 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and more than 4,000 will die from complications.1 But there is a silver lining – it’s one of the most preventable types of cancer, especially if signs or symptoms are caught early on.
In fact, the cases of and deaths from cervical cancer have recently decreased significantly because of regular pap smears and health checks. From 2000 to 2009, the instance and mortality rate of cervical cancer in women decreased by 2 percent every year.2
If you’re a woman between the ages of 20 and 70, the NCCC recommends getting screened regularly and taking a human papillomavirus (HPV) test if your doctor suggests it. HPV is a group of viruses that has been linked with cervical cancer, and you can find out more information on high-risk strains at the National Cancer Institute.
January is coming to a close, so what can you still do to help raise awareness for cervical health before the month ends? Sharing the NCCC’s press release on cancer an HPV is a great way to start, and you can also check out their special posters and public service announcement. Don’t forget to use the #CervicalHealthMonth on social media, too.
If you’ve been diagnosed or know someone that has, visit PatientsLikeMe to find and connect with other women who are living with cervical cancer. We’re all in this together – through sharing our experiences, let’s raise awareness for cervical cancer and do everything possible to prevent and learn more about this common condition.