Did you know that January is designated as Cervical Health Awareness Month? In fact, it was designated as this by the United States Congress. There are many who agree this is an extremely important health issue, with more than 13,000 women being diagnosed with this disease in the U.S. each year.
What many people don’t realize about cervical cancer is that it is one of the few cancers that is preventable when a woman opts for a vaccination and screening for HPV.
The Impact of Cervical Cancer
While cervical cancer is currently a serious issue for women in the United States, its impact is only projected to grow significantly by 2030. For example, in 2012, there were approximately 265,000 deaths around the world due to this preventable disease, but by 2030, it is projected that this number will rise to well over 443,000. That’s almost a 50 percent increase in deaths for a disease that can be prevented and treated.
Treatment Options for Cervical Cancer
Unfortunately, there are not typically any type of signs or symptoms of the development of early cervical cancer, but it is detectable with regular check-ups, PAP smears and testing. As the cancer progresses, symptoms may include pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding. There are certain factors that can affect the prognosis – chances of recovery – and the treatment options.
Factors such as a person’s health, age and desire to have children will come into play when determining a treatment for their condition. Some of the treatment options used for cervical cancer include chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the same time, a radical hysterectomy and the removal of the lymph nodes in the pelvic, a radical trachelectomy and chemotherapy with surgery, to name a few options.
How You Can Help
Regardless of if you have suffered from cervical cancer, know someone who has had it or just want to educate others and advocate for more knowledge about this preventable disease, there are many things you can do. You can take the time to talk to others, contact your local media and encourage more coverage about cervical cancer, and even reach out to your local legislative office so that Cervical Health Awareness month is recognized in your community.
Cervical cancer isn’t a disease that discriminates. It can affect any woman, regardless of race. Bringing more awareness to this disease and how preventable it is, is the best way to help those who may be diagnosed with it in the future.