January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and we recently chatted with Polk-Norman-Mahnomen Public Health Family Nurse Practitioner Jami Mathews about cervical cancer and the importance of getting screened. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 14,000 new cases of invasive cervical cancer are diagnosed annually, and 4,290 women die each year as well. It is most often diagnosed in women between the age of 35 and 44 and was once the mot common cause of death in women, however rates have dropped significantly since the increase in cervical cancer screening with a pap smear, according to Mathews.
The number one cause for Cervical Cancer is HPV, which Mathews says can be prevented with a vaccine.
Other ways to prevent cervical cancer include to avoid or quit smoking, reduce the number of sexual partners, and by practicing safe sex.
Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly 4 out 10 women have not prioritized their routine wellness exams, which Mathews notes is the best defense in detecting cervical cancer at an early stage.
For more information or to schedule a screen, contact your local Polk-Norman-Mahnomen Public Health office. Listen to the full interview with Jami Mathews this Saturday morning during the Access Health program.