Pap tests are the first line of defense to prevent cervical cancer

Published on January 05, 2022

Woman speaks with doctor during her women's wellness exam

Weld County, Colorado — The Weld County Department of Public Health & Environment (WCDPHE) in partnership with the Women’s Wellness Connection (WWC) encourages women ages 21-64 across Colorado to talk with their health care provider about scheduling a Pap test. A Pap test is the first line of defense against cervical cancer, which when found early has a 71.4 % five-year survival rate.

WWC offers free cervical cancer screenings and any necessary follow-up testing to Colorado residents ages 21-64 who meet certain requirements. Eligible individuals must earn less than 250% of the federal poverty level and have no health insurance or have health insurance but can’t afford to pay deductibles or copays.

“Cervical cancer usually doesn’t have any signs or symptoms,” said Michelle Delgado, WCDPHE Women’s Wellness Connection Outreach Worker. “So, a routine Pap test will tell you if you have a problem.”

Every year in the United States, about 14,480 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 4,290 people die of the disease, which has a 66.3% survival rate. African Americans and Latinas have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer, and African Americans have a higher cervical cancer death rate. WCDPHE acknowledges that social, economic, and environmental inequities may contribute to adverse health outcomes.

“Cervical Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to remind community members that these tests could be the difference between life and death,” said Delgado. “Women’s Wellness Connection offers free screenings. I urge everyone to get screened, even if they have not been able to afford these tests before.”

For more information on WCDPHE’s Women’s Wellness Connection program, go to the WWC webpage or call (970) 400-2400.