January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and GPCA wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do to prevent cervical cancer. Each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get 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 (shot) 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, GPCA encourages:

– Women to start getting regular cervical cancer screenings at age 21
– Parents to make sure pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12

Teens and young adults also need to get 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.

Thanks to the health care reform law, you and your family members may be able to get these services at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to learn more.

Taking small steps can help keep you safe and healthy. Please visit the National Cervical Cancer Coalition website for more information.

Tweet about Cervical Health Awareness Month:

January is #CervicalCancer Awareness Month! Spread the word and get involved: http://bit.ly/1OsOhjDExternal Link: You are leaving healthfinder.gov
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Did you know? #HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Learn more: http://1.usa.gov/TIwCaE
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#HPV affects men, too. Find out how you can protect yourself and your partner: http://1.usa.gov/Y1tCN
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Both boys and girls need the #HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12. Ask your child’s doctor about it at your next visit! http://1.usa.gov/1Mldqvi
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Find out what to expect during a pelvic exam: http://mayocl.in/S333myExternal Link: You are leaving healthfinder.gov
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Help prevent #cervicalcancer by getting regular screening tests. For more information: http://1.usa.gov/uclfGR
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Get Involved
Take action to raise awareness about cervical health.

Partner with other local groups, like cancer networks and community health clinics, to host an education event.Encourage healthcare providers to offer free or reduced-cost screening days

Start a local National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) chapter in your community.

This January, encourage local radio stations to air public service announcements (PSAs) to raise awareness about cervical health.

Recruit local bands to perform a benefit concert to raise money for cervical cancer prevention in your community.

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