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Prevent cervical cancer with screening and HPV vaccination

Posted on 01/05/2021
3 generations of women smiling

Weld County — January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE), in partnership with the Women’s Wellness Connection (WWC), encourages women ages 21-64 to start the year by talking with their health care providers about scheduling a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer. When cervical cancer is found early, more than 92% percent of individuals had a five-year survival rate.

Every year in the United States, approximately 13,800 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and approximately 4,290 people die of the disease. African Americans and Latinas have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer, and African American individuals have a higher cervical cancer death rate. “Cervical cancer usually doesn’t have any signs or symptoms,” said Cynthia Horn, WCDPHE Chief Nursing Officer. “A routine Pap test could save your life.”

Women ages 21-64 with little or no health insurance who meet specific income requirements can receive FREE cervical cancer screenings and necessary follow-up testing through Women’s Wellness Connection. Additionally, WWC provides free, confidential breast exams and mammograms to prevent breast cancer. Appointments can be made at Weld County Health Department by calling (970) 400-2400.

Horn also advises individuals to talk to their health care provider about getting the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and other related cancers. This vaccine can be given to both males and females and is most effective when given at age 11-12, though it can be given to individuals up to age 45.