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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 at the Women's and Children's Hospital, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. "We hope these vaccines will make cervical cancer a concern of the past."

Mr. Alan Kaye, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the NCCC states; "The United States has an inadequate delivery system for vaccines that may hinder mass immunization of women for the cervical cancer/HPV vaccine." Mr. Kaye went on to state; "The United States healthcare system is not structured adequately to handle the widespread immunization of adolescents and young adults."

About the National Cervical Cancer Coalition

The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), founded in 1997, is a grassroots nonprofit organization serving women with, or at risk for, cervical cancer and HPV. The NCCC is the only organization dedicated exclusively to helping women address concerns about cervical health and disease. The group executes its mission to improve women's cervical health outcomes through education, support and advocacy for women and health care providers.

The NCCC supports the nation's first Cervical Cancer Hotline for women and family members who are battling issues related to cervical cancer. In addition, it promotes patient interaction and support though its Phone Pals and E-Pals Programs, which match cervical cancer survivors with other women who are now living with or have experienced similar circumstances. The NCCC raises awareness nationally through a variety of initiatives, including the Cervical Cancer Quilts Project, a traveling exhibit that puts a personal face on the battle against cervical cancer.

To learn more about the NCCC, visit http://www.nccc-online.org.

CONTACT:

National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC)

Mrs. Rachel Biety, Communication Manager

rbiety@nccc-online.org

Telephone: (818) 909-3849


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SOURCE National Cervical Cancer Coalition
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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