JUNEAU – January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) would like to remind women that this is the perfect time to schedule your women’s health screening.
Most cervical cancer is caused by a common virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV). It is so common that most people get it at some point in their lives. Since HPV typically causes no symptoms, it is undetectable without testing. While HPV may go away by itself, the virus may eventually cause cervical cancer. The good news is cervical cancer, and HPV is preventable.
A vaccine is available that provides protection against HPV for girls and boys, and should be a part of a child’s regular vaccine schedule. It is recommended for everyone age 9 – 26.
Additionally, regular Pap and HPV tests give healthcare providers the opportunity to notice changes in the cervix early; before they become cervical cancer.
The keys to prevention are to vaccinate early, get a Pap test regularly and have an HPV test when recommended.
Talk with your provider about what tests or vaccines are right for you and your family.