January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
Jan. 20, 2021
Cervical cancer affects the cervix, the lowest part of a woman's uterus. Every year, more than 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. Every day in the United States, 35 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 12 women will die from it.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month, and cancer-prevention teams from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso are working to help the El Paso and West Texas communities learn about the risk factors for the disease and lifestyle changes that can help keep women healthy.
As women get older they are at higher risk for cervical cancer. Other factors that contribute to a higher risk for cervical cancer include a history of smoking, HPV infection, sexual activity with many partners or with one high-risk partner. Women who have had multiple full-term pregnancies or a family history of cervical cancer can also be at higher risk for the disease.
Lifestyle changes can help prevent cervical cancer. To reduce your risk, make sure to:
- Get your HPV vaccine.
- Attend your annual pap smear exam.
- Stop smoking.
- Practice safe sex.
- Limit the number of sexual partners.
- Eat healthy
- Maintain a healthy weight
Fortunately, cervical cancer can be detected early through regular HPV and pap smear tests. Early detection improves the chances for successful treatment of cervical cancer as well as precancerous conditions. Attending your annual pap smear exams is an excellent way to screen for cervical cancer.
TTUHSC El Paso has two programs that can help ensure your cervical health:
The De Casa en Casa Cervical Cancer Protection program offers free cervical cancer screening and diagnostics. Contact De Casa en Casa at 915-215-5621.
The Tiempo de Vacunarte program offers free HPV vaccines. Contact Tiempo de Vacunarte at 915-704-0326 or firstname.lastname@example.org.