Health dept. encouraging cervical cancer screenings, HPV vaccine
JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department is joining the CDC in recognizing January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
A news release from the health department states the CDC is encouraging women to get regular cervical cancer screenings, and recommends everyone receive the HPV vaccine.
“When cervical cancer is found early it is highly treatable,” said Ashley Thompson, Family Planning Supervisor with Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department. “The most important things you can do to help prevent cervical cancer are to have regular screening tests and be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV).”
The release states HPV, which is a common sexually transmitted virus, is the main cause of cervical cancer. The health department says more than 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and while all women are at risk, it most often occurs in women over 30.
The CDC recommends two doses of the HPV vaccine at ages 11-12 for both boys and girls, however, teens and young adults who have not received the vaccine should do so as soon as possible. The release states adults can benefit from the vaccine up to age 45.
The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department offers HPV vaccines, as well as the two screening tests that can detect the presence of the virus and precancerous cells on the cervix.
Thompson says screenings are easy and painless.
To schedule an appointment for a screening or vaccination, call the health department at (731) 423-3020.
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