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If cervical cancer is found early it is highly treatable
01/21/2016 LICKING COUNTY, OHIO – The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. It connects the uterus to the vagina, also known as the birth canal. But why are these medical terms for the female body important to know? Because if cervical cancer is found early it is highly treatable, and it can be found with a simple Pap test or pelvic exam.
 
“January Cervical Health Awareness Month,” reminds Joe Ebel, Licking County Health Commissioner. “Each year in the U.S. approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. More importantly, all women are at risk.”
 
Cervical cancer occurs most often in women age 30 years and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Women are at an increased risk if they:
  • Have many sexual partners and/or have unprotected sex
  • Have a family history of cervical cancer
  • Have a mother who took a hormone, DES or Diethylstilbestrol when pregnant with them
  • Have the HIV virus
  • Have a sexually transmitted virus, HPV, or Human Papillomavirus
HPV infection is the main cause of cervical cancer. Most cervical cancers can be prevented by being vaccinated with an HPV vaccine between the ages of 9 and 26. Since the vaccine does not protect against all cancer-causing types of HPV and other causes of cervical cancer, a Pap test is still needed. All women need a Pap test approximately three years after they start having vaginal intercourse and no later than age 21.
 
To help prevent cervical cancer, one should use condoms, stop smoking, be tested regularly with a Pap test, and receive the HPV vaccine, if eligible. The Licking County Health Department offers a free women’s health clinic for women who do not have insurance. For more information please call (740) 349-6535 or visit www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical.
 
“The Licking County Health Department serves more than 160,000 citizens in the Licking County General Health District by preventing disease, protecting the environment and promoting healthy lifestyles with a vision of healthy people living in healthy communities.”
 
Media Contact: Public Information Officer, LCHD, thaynes@lickingcohealth.org, (740) 349-6488


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