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Cervical Health Awareness Month 2013: Maternal & Family Health Services Focuses on Access to Reproductive Healthcare to Reduce Cervical Cancer

(PRWEB) January 23, 2013

Modern medicine has given people unprecedented tools to prevent cervical cancer, and Maternal & Family Health Services, Inc. (MFHS) calls for women of all income levels to have greater access to life-saving screenings and tests. Each year in the U.S. approximately 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 die as a result. The true tragedy of the disease is that cervical cancer screening exist that can drastically reduce these numbers.

In both the U.S. and around the world, the disease disproportionately impacts poor women. In addition to not having access to health care, low income women often lack awareness about cervical cancer. Even with current improvements in testing and technology, promoting awareness of the disease is imperative to successfully treating it.

Women throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania can take charge of their health regardless of their income and health insurance status via two MFHS wellness programs. Our reproductive health services include complete gynecological exams, which can include a Pap test. Many low income women are eligible for these free or low cost services through the MFHS family planning program.

For eligible women between the ages of 40 to 65, free screenings for both cervical and breast cancer is available through the Pennsylvania Department of Health HealthyWoman program. This program helps women overcome the financial barriers to care and empowers them to seek breast and cervical cancer screenings, preventative care like Pap tests and mammograms, and can refer them for further treatment when necessary. Other ages many also be eligible under certain circumstances.

Maternal and Family Health Services encourages women throughout Pennsylvania to use Cervical Health Awareness Month as an opportunity to schedule cervical cancer screenings for themselves and encourage other women in their lives to do the same. Early intervention and treatment are the key to prevention, and the MFHS reproductive health and HealthyWoman programs can help low-income women remove the barriers keeping them from the lifesaving services they need.

Maternal and Family Health Services is a non-profit health and social service agency celebrating over 40 years of service to Pennsylvania women, children and families. The agency oversees a network of health and nutrition centers in 16 Pennsylvania counties, serving over 125,000 people each year through the following programs: Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program; Family Planning Program; Healthy Beginnings Plus Prenatal Program; the Nurse-Family Partnership Program and the HealthyWoman Cancer Screening Program. For more information, visit, or call 1-800-367-6347.


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