January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) wants you to know there’s a lot you can do to prevent cervical cancer. HPV (human papillomavirus) is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity, and it causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, but many people with HPV don’t know they are infected.
The good news?
• The HPV vaccine, for all genders, can prevent HPV.
• Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.
In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, DHD#10 encourages:
• Individuals to talk with their health care provider and stay current on cervical cancer screening.
• Women to start getting regular Pap tests at age 21
• Parents to make sure pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12
“Vaccinating pre-teens, both girls and boys, at age 11 or 12 ensures they are protected before ever being exposed to the virus,” stated Dr. Jennifer Morse, Medical Director for DHD#10. “Of course, teens and young adults can receive the HPV vaccine if they didn’t get it as pre-teens. Women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 can still get the vaccine.”
Call 888-217-3904, option #2 to make an appointment at your local DHD#10 office. DHD#10 can bill most insurances to cover the cost of vaccination. Don’t let the cost of vaccines prevent you from receiving a vaccination. DHD#10 uses a sliding-fee scale for the cost of vaccine administration.
Additionally, DHD#10 offers a Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Screening Program (BCCCNP). This program can assist you if you need a cervical cancer screening or have an abnormal mammogram or Pap test and your insurance does not completely pay for additional tests. Please visit http://www.dhd10.org/men-women/cancer-screening/ to see if you are eligible for BCCCNP.