BOSTON — Making New Year’s resolutions? As part of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) is urging women in the Commonwealth to put preventive checkups, including cervical cancer screenings, at the top of their lists.
PPLM’s seven health centers across the state offer routine cervical cancer screenings and the HPV vaccine, which protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical cancer. Last year alone, PPLM provided 5,250 cervical cancer screenings to women across the state.
“The New Year is the perfect time to see if you’re due for a checkup,” said Dianne Luby, President and CEO of PPLM. “Regular screenings and preventive care, including the HPV vaccine, are the keys to combating cervical cancer.”
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. 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 with regular Pap tests that help detect abnormal cells before cancer develops, cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers out there,” said Luby. “When caught early, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent. HPV vaccination before sexual activity begins and regular Pap tests are the best ways to protect yourself against cervical cancer.”
PPLM’s guidelines call for initial screening at age 21; screening every two years for women aged 21–29; and screening every three years for women aged 30 or older who have had three consecutive normal Pap tests and no history of certain abnormalities.
More than 48,000 patients annually depend on Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts for quality, affordable health care. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading health care provider and advocate, serving nearly three million patients annually through its health care service providers, and another 1.2 million through educational programs. One in five women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some point in her life for professional, nonjudgmental, and confidential care.
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is the largest freestanding reproductive health care provider in the state. For over 80 years PPLM has protected and promoted sexual and reproductive health and freedom of choice through clinical services, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.pplm.org.
Director of Public Affairs
January 06, 2012