This January, AAHP observes Cervical Health Awareness Month by encouraging Black women and girls in Montgomery County to learn the facts about cervical cancer and other gynecological cancers. Although cervical cancer is highly preventable, more than 4,000 women die from cervical cancer each year, with Black women dying in disproportionately higher numbers.
Cervical cancer is usually caused by HPV (human papillomavirus), an extremely common STI that consists of thousands of strains, two of which can lead to cancer. Fortunately, routine screening tests for HPV (called Pap tests) can detect changes in the cervix that indicate pre-cancer or early-stage cancer. As with most cancers, early detection is key! The CDC recommends women ages 21-65 get a pap test every three years and an HPV test every five years. Cervical cancer can also be prevented by vaccinations for HPV. Parents are advised to vaccinate their children well before they may become sexually active. The vaccine is generally available to women up to age 26 and men up to age 21.
This Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, AAHP encourages you to learn and share info about cervical cancer.