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National Cervical Cancer Coalition Stresses Importance of Screening and Prevention During January Cervical Health Awareness Month
Date:12/27/2007

Women Urged to Take Action and Protect Themselves in New Year

VAN NUYS, Calif., Dec. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Approximately 10,000 American women will learn they have cervical cancer/HPV this year, and nearly 4,000 will die from an advanced form of the disease. This January, during Cervical Health Awareness Month, the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) is focused on educating women about the importance of the Pap test as a screening tool for cervical cancer/HPV and about vaccines that can further reduce the burden of this devastating disease.

It's the start of a new year - a time many reflect on their health. To start the year right, we encourage women to contact their health care provider to schedule a Pap test to check for cervical cancer. This screening is a crucial part of a woman's health care regimen, yet one that many overlook. "It's important to remember that cervical cancer is a preventable disease - as long as it's caught early enough," says Ms. Sarina Araujo, Executive Director of the NCCC.

While routine administration of Pap tests is the best means of detecting cervical cancer at an early stage, vaccines have the potential to protect women from the disease, by targeting cancer-causing types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV, a virus transmitted through sexual contact, is the single known cause of cervical cancer. Two forms of the virus, HPV 16 and HPV 18, account for more than 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases. Some medical experts believe that through a successful education, screening and vaccination program for women, we will have the potential to nearly eliminate cervical cancer in the U.S.

"These vaccines represent a major advancement in women's health and in cancer prevention. With these new tools, we may be able to help ensure no woman in the United States has to endure cervical cancer," says Juan C. Felix, MD, chairman of the NCCC medical advisory panel and chief of OB/GYN pathology
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SOURCE National Cervical Cancer Coalition
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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