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Women's Health Advocates To Moms: We Can Beat Cervical Cancer!
Date:4/14/2009

On Mother's Day, Wear and Share a Pearl of Wisdom to Help Prevent Cervical Cancer

UPPER MARLBORO, Md., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Cervical cancer is preventable - if every woman knows about and benefits from the tools - the Pap test, HPV test and HPV vaccine - now available to protect them from this disease. That's the message that the Pearl of Wisdom(TM) Campaign to Prevent Cervical Cancer (www.PearlofWisdom.us) wants women to get - and share - in honor of Mother's Day on May 10. And the campaign urges women to help do this by wearing a Pearl of Wisdom, the global symbol for cervical cancer prevention.

The Pearl of Wisdom campaign will give away free Pearl of Wisdom pins to 500 randomly selected visitors who register at its website before April 27. More information is available at www.PearlofWisdom.us/MothersDay.

"More than 11,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year, and 4,000 women will die of this disease," said Tamika Felder, cervical cancer survivor and founder of the nonprofit organization, Tamika and Friends, the lead U.S. partner in the Pearl of Wisdom campaign. "No one, however, should suffer or die from cervical cancer because it is now almost completely preventable. In honor of all women on Mother's Day, we encourage women to wear a Pearl of Wisdom and help us get the word out that this cancer is beatable."

"We know that cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV," said Susan Wysocki, RNC, NP, president and CEO of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health, a partner in the Pearl of Wisdom campaign. "Now, almost all cervical cancers can be prevented through screening with the Pap test and HPV test, and with HPV vaccination."

According to Ms. Wysocki, here is what every woman should know to protect herself:

  • Girls and women ages 9-26: Ask your healthcare provider about the HPV vaccine. It protects against the two types of HPV that cause the majority of cervical cancers. Even women who have been vaccinated will still need to be screened.

  • Women age 21 or older (or within 3 years of becoming sexually active): Get the Pap test, which detects abnormal cells that can lead to cervical cancer.

  • Women age 30 or older: Get the Pap test and the HPV test together as part of routine cervical cancer screening. The HPV test detects the virus that causes cervical cancer, identifying those women at increased risk who will need to be monitored more closely.

Pearl of Wisdom pins are available for purchase at www.PearlofWisdom.us. All proceeds go to the U.S. Pearl of Wisdom Campaign Fund, which supports U.S.-based cervical cancer prevention activities. Visitors can also send Mother's Day e-cards featuring "virtual" pearls of wisdom about cervical cancer prevention through the website to special women in their lives.

Pearl of Wisdom campaign partners are also delivering the message to their members, colleagues and others, in honor of Mother's Day. The partners include American Medical Women's Association, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, the Balm In Gilead, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Global Summit of Women, the Hicks Foundation, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health, the National Council of Women's Organizations, the National Women's Health Resource Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Society for Women's Health Research, Tamika and Friends, Women In Government, the Yellow Umbrella Organization, and others.

About Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. In the U.S., the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, 11,070 women will have been diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3,870 women will have died of the disease. Cervical cancer frequently strikes women in their 30s, 40s and 50s - when many are raising children. Cervical cancer is caused by persistent infections with high-risk types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection that 3 of 4 adults will have at some time in their lives. Most of these infections go away on their own without treatment. Infections that do not go away on their own can lead to cervical cancer.

A Pap test is the traditional method used for cervical cancer screening. An HPV test identifies women who are infected with high-risk types of HPV that could potentially lead to cervical cancer. Clinical studies suggest that screening with both a Pap test and an HPV test offers women aged 30 and older the best protection against cervical cancer. An HPV vaccine is now FDA-approved for girls and young women ages 9-26. It has been shown to be 100% effective - in women not previously infected - at preventing infection with the two most common types of HPV that cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancers. HPV vaccination does not protect against all the HPV types that can cause cervical cancer, however, meaning that women who have been vaccinated still need to be screened to protect against the HPV types not covered by the vaccine.

About the Pearl of Wisdom Campaign to Prevent Cervical Cancer

The Pearl of Wisdom Campaign to Prevent Cervical Cancer is a united, global effort that raises awareness of the new tools for preventing cervical cancer, encourages women to take full advantage of these tools, and advocates for the implementation of these tools for girls and women everywhere. The campaign was initiated in Europe by the Brussels, Belgium-based European Cervical Cancer Association, and launched in the U.S. in January 2009. In the U.S., the campaign is led by Tamika and Friends, Inc., a national nonprofit organization that raises awareness about cervical cancer through a network of survivors and their friends. The U.S. effort is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from QIAGEN, Inc. More information is available at www.PearlofWisdom.us.


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SOURCE Tamika and Friends, Inc.
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