Dalton (GA) – It is time for all Georgia women to say, “Cervical Cancer? Not On My Watch!”
Only through routine screenings can cervical cancer be detected early. Close to 100% of women diagnosed in a pre-cancerous stage will survive this disease. However, an estimated 134 women in Georgia will still die this year from cervical cancer. Therefore, during January, Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, the North Georgia Health District has joined the Georgia Department of Public Health Office of Cancer Screening & Treatment and the American Cancer Society in asking everyone to help fight against cervical cancer by spreading information about the importance of getting a Pap test.
Cervical cancer is a concern for all women. Even though white women are diagnosed more frequently with cervical cancer, black and Latina women have a higher risk of dying from the disease due to later detection. Women who live in rural areas and women who have economic challenges also tend to have a high mortality rate due to their lack of resources.
Early detection through routine screenings in the United States has reduced cervical cancer to less than one percent of cancer deaths since the introduction of the Pap test in 1943. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Georgia Breast & Cervical Cancer Program – commonly known as BreasTEST & MORE – and the American Cancer Society recommend women to start having Pap tests at age 21.
Nationally, through the Breast and Cervical Treatment Act, medical treatment for eligible women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer is available through the Women’s Health Medicaid Program. Georgia is completely committed to doing its part in reducing risk of cervical cancer to its citizens. Through programs like the BreasTEST & MORE, eligible women can take advantage of more than 200 locations, both public health clinics and nonprofit organizations, where breast and cervical cancer screenings are available.
Additionally, since the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer, there is HPV vaccine available for girls and boys ages nine to 26. For more details, log onto http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/.
For more information about cervical cancer or the BreasTEST & MORE program in Georgia, please call your local American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or log onto http://dph.georgia.gov/breast-and-cervical-cancer-program-bccp.