January: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
Did you know that cervical cancer is the most frequent cancer affecting Indian women?
Wait, there’s good news too.
- Cervical cancer is preventable.
- A HPV vaccination and regular screening tests can lower your risk.
The month of January is celebrated as ‘Cervical Cancer Awareness Month’ in the spirit of generating awareness about this disease and to encourage women to come forward and take some small steps in its prevention. We take a look at the importance of promoting cervical cancer awareness among women.
Prevention is Possible
Advancements in medical science and research have put us in an advantageous position where cervical cancer can be prevented if timely action is taken. The efforts of a 20-year study on Human Papilloma virus (HPV) have yielded a HPV vaccine (HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer).
The vaccine must be taken in three doses, and will protect women against the four variants of the HPV virus, the most common agents of HPV infection that leads to cervical cancer. In January, through the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, we aim to increase the number of women getting the HPV vaccination.
Awareness is Necessary
The widespread nature of cervical cancer among Indian women makes it extremely crucial to raise awareness on how women can protect themselves against it and also promote easier access to health care for them. Apart from HPV vaccination, regular visits to a gynaecologist for HPV and Pap screening tests can make a huge difference in identifying any abnormal changes in the cervix and catching the cancer in its early stages.
Together, We Can Make a Difference
Here are some simple steps through which the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month can make a meaningful difference in every woman’s life:
- Motivate yourself and other women you know towards regular screening tests.
- If you are a parent of a teen, find out more about getting the HPV vaccine for your teen.
- Get yourself vaccinated against HPV.
- Practice safe sex.
It’s a new year – let’s dedicate it to health! Come, be part of the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!
“Announcement: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month — January 2013,” CDC.gov, January 4, 2013 / 61(51);1049, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6151a5.htm
“Cervical Health Awareness Month,” HealthFinder.gov, http://healthfinder.gov/nho/JanuaryToolkit.aspx
“Get Screened: January Is Cervical Health Awareness Month,” HealthyWomen.org, National Women’s Health Resource Center, http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/get-screened-january-cervical-health-awareness-month