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Home Cervical Cancer Cervical Cancer Cervical Health Awareness Month, January 2012: ASHA/NCCC Focus on Increasing Access to Cervical Cancer Screening and Vaccines

Cervical Health Awareness Month, January 2012: ASHA/NCCC Focus on Increasing Access to Cervical Cancer Screening and Vaccines

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January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and below is a press release issued by ASHA and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC merged with ASHA’s HPV programs in late 2011).

Tremendous gains have been made in preventing cervical cancer, a disease that strikes approximately 12,000 women each year in the U.S. (and leads to about 4,000 deaths): Pap test programs are one of public health’s shining triumphs and new technologies such as HPV tests and cervical cancer vaccines only strengthen the arsenal against the disease. Challenges remain, of course, including reducing racial and ethnic disparities in cervical cancer incidence and getting larger numbers of eligible females and males vaccinated against HPV.

ASHA/NCCC has resources available online including downloadable posters, fact sheets, and HPV/cervical cancer education videos for patients, parents, and health care providers.

RTP--Modern medicine has given us unprecedented tools to prevent cervical cancer, and the American Social Health Association (ASHA) and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) call for all women to have greater access to life-saving screening tests and vaccines.

Each year in the U.S. approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 die as a result. The true tragedy of the disease is that cervical cancer screening tests and vaccines exist that can prevent virtually every case.

In both the U.S. and around the world, the disease disproportionately impacts poor women. ASHA President and CEO Lynn B. Barclay says that in addition to not having access to health care, women often lack awareness about cervical cancer. “Science has put us in a remarkable position to protect women from cervical cancer, but technology is only half the battle,” Barclay says. “It’s imperative we continue efforts that not only promote greater access to health care, but that we also inform women about cervical cancer and the marvelous means we now have to prevent this disease.”

2012 will see ASHA/NCCC focus strongly on increasing uptake of cervical cancer vaccines. “Fewer than half of girls and young women who are eligible for these vaccines have completed the three-dose series, so increasing vaccine uptake is a priority for us.” Barclay says a key to getting more “needles in arms” is to reach out to health care providers in addition to the general public: “Especially for parents, having the family doctor or nurse endorse a vaccine is often crucial. With this in mind, we’re developing additional cervical cancer information and counseling tools designed specifically for front-line health care providers. “

ASHA/NCCC address the challenges of cervical cancer prevention by offering numerous programs that include national advocacy, publications, and interactive services that provide education and support for patients, families, and health professionals.