January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.
Increasing awareness of National Health Observances can help prevent a variety of serious and sometimes life-threatening health problems like cervical cancer. Cervical cancer can be detected and prevented when women seek regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care. A simple Pap test (sometimes called a Pap smear) is done in a doctor’s office or clinic. Most deaths from cervical cancer can be prevented if women simply get regular Pap tests. A Pap test can find abnormal (changed) cells before they turn into cancer. Pap tests can also find cervical cancer early, when it usually can be cured.
How often you get screened for cervical cancer depends on how old you are and which tests you get.
If you are age 21 to 29, get a Pap test every three years.
If you are age 30 to 65:
• Get screened every three years if you only have a Pap test.
• Get screened every five years if you have both a Pap test and an HPV test
If you are age 66 or older, ask your doctor if cervical cancer screening is recommended for you.
Share information about National Health Observances so everyone can do their part to 1) improve their health, 2) educate the public about health risks, 3) organize health promotion events and campaigns, 4) and get new ideas, information and resources on health topics important for everyone. For more information on Cervical Health Awareness Month, please contact the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, P.O. Box 13827, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 ; (800) 685-5531 and fax (919) 361-8425; firstname.lastname@example.org and www.nccc-online.org.