January is Cervical Cancer Health Awareness Month and I couldn’t let it pass by without sharing ways to prevent cervical cancer.
One of the major cause of cervical cancer is HPV (human papillomavirus), which is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity. Research has shown that there are about 79 million Americans with HPV. What’s even more frightening is that a lot of these people don’t even know that they are infected.
If you are 21 or older, I would like to encourage you to start getting a regular pap smear. This is one way to try to prevent cervical cancer. Parents should take their preteens to get the HPV vaccine (shot) for prevention as well.
According to healthfinder.gov, teens and young adults also need to get the HPV vaccine if they didn’t get it as pre-teens. Women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 can still get the vaccine.
Because of the health care reform law, you may be able to get these services at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to learn more.
For more information, visit the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.