December 27, 2011
Belleville, IL (PRWEB)
Nearly 13,000 American women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2011, and more than 4,000 died from an advanced form of the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation, works with hundreds of cancer patients each year, and is raising awareness of the need for screening and preventive care during Cervical Health Awareness Month in January.
Regular Pap tests, which detect significant abnormal cell changes that may arise before cancer develops, reduce deaths from cervical cancer. Women who have never been screened or who have not been screened in the past five years face a greater risk of developing invasive cervical cancer. Most medical experts agree women age 21 (or younger, if they are sexually active) to about 70 should be screened every two to three years. Women should seek expert medical advice about when they should begin screening, how often they should be screened, and when they can discontinue cervical screenings, especially if they are at higher than average risk due to factors such as HIV infection.
Despite the effectiveness of Pap tests in preventing deaths, the most recent NCI statistics (2005) indicate that more than 20 percent of women aged 18 and older had not had a Pap test within the past three years.
According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, while routine administration of Pap tests is the best method to detect cervical cancer at an early stage, vaccines have the potential to protect women from the disease by targeting cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV, a virus transmitted through sexual contact, is the single known cause of cervical cancer.
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