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January Is National Cervical Cancer Screening Month
Planned Parenthood Urges Women to Talk with Their Health Care Providers
About Screening and Prevention
NEW YORK CITY — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the nation’s leading reproductive health care advocate and provider, is urging women to talk with their health care providers about cervical cancer this month. The quickest paths to eliminating this disease are regular cervical cancer screenings, consistent and correct condom use, and HPV vaccination for women who have not yet been exposed to human papilloma virus (HPV). Two types of HPV cause 70 percent of cervical cancer cases.
“Cervical cancer is a preventable disease, and women should talk with their doctors or other health care providers about the best ways to stay safe,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards. “In honor of Cervical Cancer Screening Month, Planned Parenthood is redoubling our efforts to make sure women have the information they need to protect their health, including the launch of a cervical cancer webpage to increase awareness about the disease, and public education programs that highlight the importance of prevention.”
Last year, Planned Parenthood affiliates provided more than one million women with cervical cancer screenings to help them prevent the disease. A growing number of Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide offer the HPV vaccine, which protects women from the two most common forms of HPV, which cause 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. Planned Parenthood routinely educates patients and the community about the importance of regular condom use, which also significantly reduces the risk of contracting HPV. Women can find the nearest Planned Parenthood health center by visiting http://www.plannedparenthood.org/.
Experts estimate about 11,150 cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2007. Half of women diagnosed with this cancer are between the ages of 35 and 55; however, it is important for women to continue to have regular cancer screenings until age 70 or later. Every year, about 4,000 American women die of the disease.
“Thanks to innovations like the HPV vaccine, we are at a critical juncture in the fight against cervical cancer. The work we do today to prevent cervical cancer will help keep future generations safe,” added Richards. “Planned Parenthood is working hard to ensure that comprehensive access to cancer screenings, condoms, and the HPV vaccine are part of our public health priorities in 2008.”
Find more information about the HPV vaccine and cancer screening at Planned Parenthood.