IDPH encourages screenings, vaccination during Cervical Health Awareness Month | Events
(KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Public Health is encouraging regular screening for cervical cancer and vaccination for the Human Papillomavirus during National Cervical Awareness Month, observed every January.
According to the IDPH, all women are at risk for cervical cancer; however, it occurs most often in women over age 30.
“Because of advances in screening, as well as the HPV vaccine, cervical cancer is highly preventable. It is also very treatable if detected early,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “There are often no noticeable symptoms with cervical cancer, so it is important to get screened regularly. Now is also the time for teens and young women and men to talk with health care providers about the HPV vaccine, which can prevent the most common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.”
The IDPH says about 12,000 women each year in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer. In Illinois, it is projected that about 580 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year, and an estimated 160 will die of the disease.
The primary cause of cervical cancer is HPV, which is the most common sexually transmitted disease. At least half of all sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives, but relatively few women will develop cervical cancer.
Cervarix and Gardasil are licensed HPV vaccines for females ages 9-26. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all 11 or 12 year old girls get the three doses (shots) of either brand of HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer. CDC also recommends the vaccine for girls and women ages 13-26 who did not get any or all of the doses when they were younger.
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