January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness in order to help raise awareness of ways women can protect themselves from the human papillomavirus, or HPV, and cervical cancer.
Every year, over 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the US, and nearly 4,200 die from the disease every year. However, cervical cancer is preventable. With proper vaccinations and screenings, women’s lives can be saved, which is why raising awareness is so important.
HPV is a common infection which is spread through sexual activity; HPV is the cause of nearly all cases of cervical cancer.
Right now, around 79 million Americans are living with HPV and many of them don’t even know they’ve been infected.
How Cervical Health Awareness Month Makes a Difference
The HPV vaccine can prevent HPV, and cervical cancer can be prevented with regular screenings and required follow-up care. These screenings can detect abnormal cells early before these abnormal cells turn into cervical cancer. Screenings can help prevent most of the deaths caused by cervical cancer.
During January, the National Cervical Cancer Coalition wants everyone to help get the word out. It’s important for women to know what steps they need to take to stay healthy.
The NCCC and the American Sexual Health Association encourage all women to get their well-woman visit annually. They want to make sure women know that most insurance plans will cover both well-woman visits and cervical cancer screenings. Which means women can typically get these services at no out-of-pocket cost.
Another way to spread awareness this month is to talk to pre-teens about the vaccination. Parents should know how important it is for their pre-teens, both boys and girls, to get the HPV vaccine.
Like most events, Cervical Health Awareness Month has its own color. Wear teal and white ribbons to bring awareness to cervical cancer. Or show support for a friend or loved one by purchasing Cervical Cancer Awareness month products, like jewelry, hats or t-shirts.
How Can You Help?
If you are interested in helping get the word out, you can be an advocate for Cervical Health Awareness. You can help educate friends, family and your community, sharing your knowledge of how to prevent cervical cancer and HPV. You may even want to contact your local representative or your mayor to ask them to get the word out, bringing public recognition to Cervical Health Awareness Month.
Share Cervical Health Information on Social Media
Another way to help promote the importance of Cervical Health Awareness Month is to share information on social media. There are a number of downloadable resources on the American Cancer Society’s site, and on the NCCC site, that are perfect for sharing. The more you get the word out about cervical cancer prevention, the more people will how to prevent this deadly disease.
Across the US, the American Cancer Society is working to fight cervical cancer on a number of different fronts. Every day, not just in January, they help women get tested for cervical cancer, assist them with follow-up care and treatments, and understand their diagnosis. They are also working every day to fund new research that will prevent, and treat cervical cancer.
Spread the word, January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.