January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

The month of January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. During this time the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, along with the various chapters of the coalition around the United States, focuses on spreading awareness for Cervical Cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection.

Each year more than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and nearly 4,000 of those cases are fatal. Despite cervical cancer being one of the most preventable types of cancer, it is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV), found in 99% of cervical cancers, is the leading cause of cervical cancer in its high-risk form. By the age of 50, 80% of women have been exposed to HPV. Statistics for cervical cancer diagnosis involving HPV or cervical cancer have declined two percent each year for several years due to the implementation of the Pap test. The Pap test is an annual screening for women that test for any cervical abnormalities.

South Carolina ranks 14th in cervical cancer incidence and 14th in mortality from the disease. The Cervical Cancer Subcommittee within the South Carolina Cancer Alliance provides support for Cervical Cancer-Free South Carolina activities during the month of January with a focus on addressing cervical cancer objectives in the South Carolina Cancer Control Plan 2011-2015. The Plan is dedicated to assisting in extinguishing cervical cancer in our state.

Focusing on cervical cancer awareness during the month of January is an important tactic not only for the state of South Carolina, but also for the United States in order to continue to lower the annual statistics of women diagnosed. Education regarding cervical cancer as well as proper preventative measures will continue to benefit women. For more information on cervical cancer or the National Cervical Cancer Coalition chapter in your area please click here.

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