Knowledge, while not even concrete, can often push people to engage in certain actions. Many times in fact, a negative matter could have been positive if the person involved had more knowledge going into it! Sometimes, when a lot of people go through a bad time, certain groups will try and help others avoid the same misfortune. Therefore, many public health organizations have been banding together month after month, to teach others about avoidable illnesses and how. For the month of January, The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) and its many local chapters across the country, have made a stand to teach others about cervical health, inspire people to get screenings, pass along the knowledge to others, participate in events, and provide financial support that can aid in funding the research of cervical cancer.
According to the NCCC, nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but this disease is almost always preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening. (Pap and HPV tests). Human papillomavirus, otherwise known as HPV is found in about 99% of cervical cancers. It is important to note that there are over 100 different types of HPV, most that are considered low risk and do not cause cervical cancer. With all of this information in mind, it is important to have regular screenings, and the American Cancer Society website has some important bullet points about them:
- There are 2 types of tests used for cervical cancer screening:
- Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years. They should not be tested for HPV unless it is needed after an abnormal Pap test result.
- Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have both a Pap test and an HPV test every 5 years. But it is okay to do just a Pap test every 3 years instead.
How to Help
Those who wish to educate and advocate for increased knowledge of cervical cancer and HPV disease can do a lot. “You can contact your local media to encourage coverage of Cervical Health Awareness Month, offering this ASHA/NCCC press release.” Interested parties may also send a proclamation to their mayor or local legislative office to publicly recognize Cervical Health Awareness Month. Both methods can get the word out on a much larger scale.
Additionally, other ways to spread the word and inspire action from others can be to share prevention messages on social media, volunteer at a local chapter, donating to the NCCC, hosting an education event, and hosting a fundraising event! It is the people who make a difference when they decide to donate their time or financial support. Fortunately, there are many options out there for those who want to take a stand with the NCCC in the push towards better cervical cancer prevention.
1) National Cervical Cancer Coalition. (2017). “Cervical Cancer Overview”. Retrieved from: http://www.nccc-online.org/hpvcervical-cancer/cervical-cancer-overview/ .
2) National Cervical Cancer Coalition. (2017). “Cervical Health Awareness Month”. Retrieved from: http://www.nccc-online.org/hpvcervical-cancer/cervical-health-awareness-month/ .
3) National Cervical Cancer Coalition. (2017). “Volunteer with NCCC”. Retrieved from: http://www.nccc-online.org/get-involved/volunteer-with-nccc/ .
4) National Cervical Cancer Coalition. (2017.) “Donate to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition”. Retrieved from: http://www.nccc-online.org/get-involved/donate-to-nccc/ .
5) National Cervical Cancer Coalition. (2017). “Host an Education Event”. Retrieved from: http://www.nccc-online.org/get-involved/host-an-education-event/ .
6) National Cervical Cancer Coalition. (2017). “Host a Fundraising Event”. Retrieved from: http://www.nccc-online.org/get-involved/host-a-fundraising-event/ .
7) Simon, Stacy. (2012). “New Screening Guidelines for Cervical Cancer”. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/new-screening-guidelines-for-cervical-cancer.html .