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Health

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
Posted by Tara White on Thursday, January 12, 2012

The American Cancer Society reports that in the United States it is estimated that in 2011 about 12,710 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed and about 4,290 women will die from cervical cancer.

Prior to 1955, cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death in American women. With the increased use of Pap tests, the cancer rate has declined 70% between 1955 and 1992. Through awareness and advances in technology, death related to cervical cancer continues to decline 3% each year.

When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. The cervix connects the vagina (birth canal) to the upper part of the uterus. The uterus (or womb) is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant.

Cervical cancer is highly preventable in most Western countries because screening tests and a vaccine to prevent HPV infections are available. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.

All women are at risk for cervical cancer. It occurs most often in women over age 30. Each year, approximately 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer. (Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999 - 2007 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010.)

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sex. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives, but few women will get cervical cancer.

Symptoms
Most of the time, early cervical cancer has no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur can include:

Symptoms of advanced cervical cancer may include

There are several ways to treat cervical cancer. The treatment depends on the type of cervical cancer and how far it has spread. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.

Please spead the word and get screened.

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