January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Woman’s Hospital reminds all women to schedule annual check-up

January 23, 2012

Contact: Sharee Lucius, Director of Marketing
(601) 936-1030   sharee.lucius@hma.com

In observance of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January, Woman’s Hospital in Flowood reminds all women that cervical cancer is preventable with regular screening tests and follow-up care. Cervical cancer is also highly curable when found and treated early. Although it occurs most often in women over age 30, all women are at risk for cervical cancer, said Jeanne Fortenberry, Chief Nursing Executive of Woman’s Hospital.

Fortenberry urged all women to schedule an annual gynecologic exam and to encourage their mothers, sisters, co-workers and friends to do the same.

“There are so many opportunities available today to prevent cervical cancer, but the one that is the easiest and most thorough is an annual Pap test, which requires only a few minutes of your day,” Fortenberry said. “We encourage women to take full advantage of this method and to make sure their loved ones are aware of the importance of scheduling their exam.”

The main cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection that three of four adults will have at some time in their lives. Most of these infections go away on their own without treatment. Left untreated, a woman may be at risk for an early hysterectomy or lose their fertility.

Cervical cancer screening has been proven to save lives, yet 11% of US women report they do not have their Pap test screenings. In the US, about 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and more than 4,000 annually die from this disease.

A woman who does not undergo a regular Pap test screen and HPV test when recommended significantly increases her chances of developing cervical cancer.

“Many women are unaware of HPV or the relationship it has to cervical cancer,” said Fortenberry. “Cervical cancer is almost always preventable, but it can only be detected through a Pap test. This is the best way to check for HPV and to discuss with their physician the preventive tools that work best for them.”

To learn more about cervical cancer prevention call 601-933-6159. For a complete listing of Woman’s Hospital’s physicians, visit WomansHospitalMS.com.