January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month | Health
As part of National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Planned Parenthood Greater memphis Region is urging women in the Mid-South to put preventive checkups, including cervical cancer screenings, at the top of their lists.
Every year, approximately 13,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer and about 4,000 American women die of the disease.
Now is a perfect time to see if you're due for a checkup, said Leah Smith, WHNP, Planned Parenthood Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. "Regular screenings and preventive care, including the HPV vaccine, are the keys to combating cervical cancer."
Planned Parenthood's health center at 2430 Poplar Avenue in Midtown Memphis offers routine cervical cancer screenings, HPV virus screenings, and the HPV vaccine, which protects against the types of the HPV virus that most often cause cancer. Young people 18 and under who qualify may be able to get the HPV vaccine at little or no cost.
Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women and the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among women. In the U.S., Latinas and African American women are at higher risk for developing and dying of cervical cancer because they are less likely to have access to early screening and treatment.
The good news is that cervical cancer is one of the most treatable of cancers. When caught early, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent.
Cervical cancer takes many years to develop, so regular Pap tests can help detect abnormal cells so that they can be treated long before they become cancerous.
Ask your health care provider if you are due for a Pap test. The screening guidelines have recently changed so that not every woman needs a Pap test every year.
Annual exams including Pap tests are always available and affordable at Planned Parenthood. Please call 901-725-1717 or log onto www.ppgmr.org for more information.