January is cervical health awareness month
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. The West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP), a program dedicated to helping low-income, uninsured or underinsured women receive free or low-cost Pap tests, encourages women to schedule their Pap test during January or to talk with their health care provider about when it is right for them to be screened.
It is important to remember the significant role that the Pap test has played in reducing cervical cancer deaths. According to the American Cancer Society, the number of cervical cancer deaths decreased 65% between1955 and 1992, and continues to decline each year due to increasing use of the Pap test. The Pap test can detect changes in the cervix before cancer develops and it can detect cancer in its earliest stages when more treatment options are available. Cervical cancer is nearly 100% curable when detected early.
In addition to cervical cancer screening, knowing and understanding risk factors can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer. The most important risk factor associated with cervical cancer is infection with the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, which is a group of common, sexually transmitted viruses. Other risk factors include smoking, having first intercourse at a young age, or having multiple sexual partners.
The WVBCCSP works with over 300 providers statewide to ensure Program eligible women receive the services they need. An uninsured woman with a family of four can have a total household income of $46,100 and be eligible for the WVBCCSP. Don’t hesitate; contact one of the Program’s providers today to find out if you qualify and to talk about what you can do to prevent cervical cancer. Women should visit the website or call the WVBCCSP at 1-800-642-8522 for more information about the Program or to find a provider in their area.
Don’t wait. Talk with your health care provider and schedule Pap test today. Call Morgan County Health Department at 304-258-1513 or Ruthie Watts, RN at 304-257-5419.