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Posted on: January 13, 2023

January is National Cervical Health Awareness

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The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and First Choice announce that January is National Cervical Health Awareness and Cervical Cancer Prevention Month and share the following facts about cervical cancer:

Each year in the US approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 die as a result.  The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) reports that half of the cervical cancer occurred among women who are rarely or never screened for cervical cancer.  The true tragedy of the disease is that cervical cancer screening tests and vaccines exist that can prevent virtually every case.  Today, detection tools and inoculations make cervical cancer a condition that is relatively easy to prevent and treat.

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Cervical cancer tends to occur in midlife.  Most cases are found in women younger than 50.  It rarely occurs in women younger than 20.  Many women do not know that as they get older they are still at risk of getting cervical cancer.

 Most deaths from cervical cancer could be avoided if women had regular checkups with a Pap test.  Early detection significantly increases chances of survival.  In fact, if detected early, cervical cancer is nearly 100 percent curable.

In accordance with this health designation, the First Choice Healthcare staff is pleased to remind area women they have clinic services that address the prevention of deaths from breast and cervical cancer.

Our First Choice Healthcare locations in Kewanee and Colona encourage early detection by providing well women exams, clinical breast exams, pap smears (when needed), and teaching healthy breast care by educating women in breast self-exam awareness.  Women need to realize that the most effective tools associated with early detection are literally just a phone call away, we just need area women to focus on the preventative aspects of their health.

The First Choice Healthcare Clinics accepts medicaid payments, most insurances and private pay.  A sliding fee scale, based on client income, has been established to assist everyone to obtain services.

A great push in the fight against cervical cancer is increasing awareness of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.  Experts believe that women must be infected with HPV before they develop cervical cancer.  The HPV vaccine has been shown to be highly effective in preventing HPV infection and therefore, cervical cancer risk.  First Choice Healthcare reminds area residents that they have the HPV vaccine series available to both girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 18.  The vaccine should be given before sexual activity begins and HPV exposure increases.”

For more information on women's health services, the HPV vaccine series, or to schedule an appointment at either location call (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or (309) 792-4011 (Colona)  or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments, or Follow Us on Twitter and Instagram. 

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