Jan 18, 2013

Jan.: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

DARKE COUNTY—January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Cervical cancer is highly preventable because screening tests for cervical cancer and vaccines to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the main cause of cervical cancer, are available. However, half of cervical cancers occur among women rarely or never screened for cancer, and another 10-20% of cancers occur among women who were screened but did not receive adequate follow-up care. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.

To help prevent cervical cancer, vaccines are available to prevent HPV infection. HPV vaccines offer the greatest health benefit to persons who receive all 3 doses before exposure to HPV through sexual activity. Routine HPV vaccination is recommended for girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years. Vaccination also is recommended for females through age 26 years and for males through age 21 years who have not been vaccinated previously. Any man who has sex with other men, and men with compromised immune systems (including human immunodeficiency virus infection), also may be vaccinated through age 26 years. (CDC January 4, 2013 MMWR)

HPV Vaccine is available at the Darke County Health Department Clinic, 300 Garst Ave., Greenville. Clinic hours are Tuesdays, 8-10:30 a.m. and 2-5 p.m. For more information, call 548-4196, ext. 224.

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