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January 4, 2012
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Recognizes National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month by Urging Women to Get Regular Checkups
MILWAUKEE — Making New Year’s resolutions? As part of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is urging women in Wisconsin to put preventive checkups, including cervical cancer screenings, at the top of their lists.
Every year, approximately 13,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 4,000 American women die of the disease.
“The New Year is the perfect time to see if you’re due for a checkup,” said Meg Robertson, Director of Clinical Services for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. “Regular screenings and preventive care, including the HPV vaccine, are the keys to combating cervical cancer.”
Planned Parenthood’s 27 health centers in Wisconsin offer routine cervical cancer screenings and the HPV vaccine, which protects against the types of HPV that most often, cause cervical cancer. In 2010 alone, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin provided nearly 11,192 cervical cancer screenings and 783 Colposcopies to women across Wisconsin.
Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women and the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among women. In the U.S., Latinas and African-American women are at higher risk for developing and dying of cervical cancer because they are less likely to have access to early screening and treatment.
“The good news is that cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers out there,” said Meg Robertson. “When caught early, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent.”
“Cervical cancer takes many years to develop, so regular Pap tests can help detect abnormal cells early enough to prevent the disease. HPV vaccination before sexual activity begins and regular Pap tests are the best ways to protect yourself against cervical cancer”, added Meg Robertson.
Planned Parenthood’s guidelines call for initial screening at age 21; screening every two years for women aged 21–29; and screening every three years for women aged 30 or older who have had three consecutive normal Pap tests and no history of certain abnormalities.
As the region’s most trusted provider of women’s health care, more than 70,000 patients annually depend on Planned Parenthood for quality, affordable health care. One in five women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some point in her life for professional, nonjudgmental, and confidential care.