January is Cervical Health Awareness Month
Cervical cancer affects the cervix, the lower part of a woman's uterus. An estimated 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.
The vast majority of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV which is a virus caught through sexual contact with infected partners. There are immunizations which can prevent HPV infection.
In addition, there are other behaviors or conditions which may make women more likely to develop cervical cancers. Other potential causes include: family history, smoking, having human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other diseases which weaken the immune system, taking birth control pills or other hormonal birth control medications for five years or longer, or giving birth to three or more children.
Early detection is the best way to prevent cervical cancer.
Talk to your doctor to determine how often you should be screened. Screening recommendations may vary based on age, pre-existing conditions and other factors.
In addition to screening, prevention may happen by taking precautions.
- Have safe sex.
- Practice monogamy to limit exposure to HPV and HIV.
- Quit smoking.
- Talk to your doctor about HPV immunizations to see if they are right for you.
This January, spread cervical health awareness to your sisters, mothers and daughters.
You just might save a life!
This information is provided for general informational purposes. Information contained in this communication is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding your healthcare needs. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read in this informational piece. Always check your benefits for coverage information and limitations.