January is Cervical Health Awareness Month – Things You Need to Know

As a wave of female empowerment cascades our nation – like the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements – let’s also turn our attention to Cervical Health Awareness Month.

Cervical Health Awareness Month aims to raise awareness about the ways women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. HPV is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity – and causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.

About 79 million Americans currently have HPV; and many people with HPV and many are unaware they are even infected.

And each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.
But there is good news! Hence – awareness month!
1. The HPV vaccine can prevent HPV.
2. Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.

Whether it’s encouraging women to get their yearly checkups, to advocating for parents to talk to their pre-teens about the HPV vaccine, there are many ways to raise awareness and take action.

Here are just a few things to do – and in to keep in mind – for the month of January:
  1. Take the ACS’s Cervical Cancer Quiz, to make sure you know all the facts about cervical cancer. Knowledge and facts are on the front lines of any advocacy effort! 
  2. Be up to speed with the guidelines for screening and early prevention – this is the best way to promote safety. 
  3. Promote #CerivcalCancerAwareness on all your social media platforms! Every new person who reads up on the facts is a new opportunity to save a life.
  4. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed – make sure to know all about treatment options and next steps. 
  5. Visit individual advocacy groups and organizations – here are just a few:  
a. National Cervical Cancer Coalition b. American Cancer Society c. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
So let’s each do our part to advocate for education on the facts, preventative measures such as screening and vaccines, and treatment options. The more we do – together – the better!

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