PPSNE encourages women to start 2015 off right by scheduling a preventive health screening.
(New Haven, Conn.) – January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is urging women in Connecticut and Rhode Island to start the year off right by taking charge of their health with important preventive screenings, such as a Pap test, which can detect irregularities that lead to cervical cancer.
“All women can develop cervical cancer, and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England encourages anyone over 21 years old to talk with their health care provider to see if they are due for a screening, and encourage their loved ones to do the same,” said Kafi Rouse, Director of Public Relations & Marketing with Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “Regular checkups are important in protecting women’s health and preventing serious health issues. Preventive screenings can rule out or detect life-threatening diseases which will allow women to live longer, healthier lives.”
Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV), a very common sexually transmitted infection. In most cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally, but high-risk HPV may lead to cervical cancer in some women. The American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as Planned Parenthood, support ensuring that all young people under 26 years old get the HPV vaccine. For women over the age of 26, the best way to prevent cervical cancer is to get routine Pap tests.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more women in Connecticut and Rhode Island have access to the care they need, including Pap tests, testing for sexually transmitted infections and the HPV vaccine, without having to pay out of pocket for copays and other expenses,” Rouse noted. “As the leading women’s health care provider in Connecticut and Rhode Island, we are proud to offer preventive health care services to help women make the best decisions for their health.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new data showing that while cervical cancer screenings have been proven to save lives, about eight million women ages 21 to 65 have not been screened for cervical cancer in the past five years. More than 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and more than half of these cases are in women who have never been screened or in those who haven’t been screened in the past five years. Over 4,000 American women die of the disease each year. Latinas and African-American women have higher rates of cervical cancer than other groups and are also more likely to die of the disease.
While there is no cure for HPV, there is treatment for the abnormal cell changes in the cervix that are caused by HPV. Treatment is also available for cervical cancer, which, when caught early, has a nearly 100 percent five-year survival rate.
PPSNE annually provides more than 16,500 life-saving cancer screenings and other preventative services. PPSNE health centers can also help those who need additional care, connect with trusted, quality resources.
To learn more about PPSNE health care services, visit ppsne.org.
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is one of the region’s largest providers of family planning and reproductive health care services. Since 1923, PPSNE has evolved into an organization with 18 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island, delivering care to nearly 70,000 patients annually, and 90 percent of the services provided are preventive.