January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and the Cancer Services Program of the North Country hopes you will take steps to a future free of cervical cancer.
With regular screening and the human papillomavirus vaccine, we can make cervical cancer a thing of the past.
Regular, on-time screening can prevent cervical cancer.
These tests can find the cells that lead to cancer, so they can be removed before cancer grows.
Regular cervical cancer screening is recommended for women ages 21 to 65.
Study after study show the HPV vaccine prevents most cervical cancers and other cancers caused by HPV.
In its over 15 years of use, the vaccine has been shown to be very safe and effective.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls at age 11 or 12 years but can be started as early as age 9 and given up to age 45 in some cases.
We have the tools to beat this cancer, but we need to do better. Women in New York State who do not have health insurance are less likely to get screened for cervical cancer on time. Only about half of teen boys and girls are fully vaccinated against HPV.
The CSP of the North Country can help! The CSP may be able to provide free cervical cancer screening if you do not have insurance. The CSP can also connect you to a health care provider to talk about the HPV vaccine for your pre-teens.
Call the Cancer Services Program of the North Country at 315-598-471 to learn more.
The writer is program coordinator for the Cancer Services Program of the North Country.