Cervical Cancer & HPV Awareness

Posted 1/19/2023 in Public Health

Brought to you by Delaware County Public Health

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month–a time to talk about cervical cancer, the HPV virus and how it can affect you and/or your loved ones.

Worldwide, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women. Cervical cancer is a disease where cells in the body, starting in the cervix, grow out of control.  All women are at risk for cervical cancer, with it most often occurring after the age of 30. The good news is that this disease is preventable with vaccination and having appropriate screenings.

Get informed. Almost all cervical cancers are linked to an infection with the high risk human papillomavirus or HPV virus. This virus is extremely common for both women and men and is transmitted through sexual contact. While most infections with HPV resolve on their own and cause no symptoms, persistent infections can cause cervical cancer in women and also penile cancer in men. Every year, about 36,000 men and women develop cancer caused by the HPV virus. While there is no cure for the HPV virus, the focus needs to be on prevention.

Focus on prevention. By getting the HPV vaccination at the ages of 11-12 in both girls and boys, over 90 percent of these cancers can be prevented from developing. Research has shown that fewer women are developing cervical pre-cancers, due to getting the HPV vaccine.

Starting the vaccine series today will help protect your child from the cancers and diseases that may be caused by the HPV virus. There have been more than 135 million doses of the HPV vaccine distributed in the United States with over 15 years of monitoring and research. Talk to your healthcare provider about the HPV vaccine. Or, call Delaware County Public Health at 563-927-7551 for more information.