REGION- The Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD) reminds the community that cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 14,100 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed, with an estimated 4,280 deaths from the disease, in 2022.
In the year 2019, which is the latest year for which data is available, the United States had 12,795 new cases of cervical cancer, and 4,152 people died. For every 100,000 people, 8 new cervical cancer cases were reported with 2 deaths.
Cervical cancer usually develops slowly, beginning as simple abnormal cells. If left untreated, these cells can progress into cancer. About 2 out of every 3 cervical cancers are caused by certain strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Vaccines have been shown to prevent the types of HPV that lead to cervical cancer.
Currently there are two HPV vaccines, Cervarix and Gardasil, available for everyone between the ages of 9 and 26. Healthcare providers recommend getting your teens vaccinated. In October 2018, the FDA approved the use of Gardasil 9 for anyone aged 27-45. Both vaccines are available by calling your local health department branch office and making an appointment. This vaccine is recommended for everyone from ages 9-45 to help prevent the spread of HPV, which has been linked to not just cervical cancer but also cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx.
The Pap test is a specific screening test for cervical cancer and is not the same as a pelvic exam, although the Pap test is done in conjunction with a pelvic exam. A Pap test is a simple and effective exam that can detect abnormal cervical cells. If abnormal cells are found, treatment can usually be done to remove these cells and prevent them from turning into cervical cancer. Cervical cancer screenings are usually fast and easy. All people who have a cervix and are age 21 or older should have regular interval screenings.
Following recommended Pap smear screening guidelines can reduce their risk of cervical cancer. Everyone should use the month of January to encourage partners and loved ones to schedule a cervical cancer screening appointment and talk to their health care provider about the HPV vaccine.
Join CMDHD this month in telling family and friends that “You Can Prevent Cervical Cancer!” CMDHD provides cervical cancer screenings to everyone through our Family Planning and Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation Programs.
CMDHD, through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation Program, provides free Pap tests and breast cancer screenings for those aged 21-64 with limited income and little or no health insurance. For more information on cancer screening services or vaccines offered at CMDHD, contact your local CMDHD branch office.
- Arenac County: (989) 846-6541 ext. 1316
- Isabella County: (989) 773-5921 ext. 1406
- Clare County: (989) 539-6731 ext. 1216
- Osceola County: (231) 832-5532 ext. 1216
- Gladwin County: (989) 426-9431 ext. 1316
- Roscommon County: (989) 366-9166 ext. 1316
For more information on cervical cancer, please visit the CDC website. If you are looking for information regarding cervical cancer screenings, visit CMDHD’s website at www.cmdhd.org.