RTP, NC — As we recognize January 2013 as Cervical Health Awareness Month, the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) call for expanded access to life-saving screening tests and vaccines.
Each year in the U.S. approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 die as a result. The numbers are even more soberng globally; approximately 80% of deaths from cervical cancer occur in the developing world. In both the U.S. and around the world, the disease disproportionately impacts poor women.
ASHA/NCCC President and CEO Lynn B. Barclay says we can do better: “Cervical cancer is preventable through vaccines and screening tests. Making sure these tools reach the most vulnerable women is critical, of course, but so are efforts to educate women about the disease. Accurate, culturally-sensitive information and access to care are an unbeatable combination.”
It’s also important to reach out to health care providers, Barclay says. “Only about 35% of girls and young women who are eligible for these vaccines have completed the three-dose series. Parents are strongly influenced by the recommendations of the family doctor or nurse, so we’ll continue developing cervical cancer information and counseling tools designed specifically for health professionals.
ASHA/NCCC address the challenges of cervical cancer prevention by offering numerous programs that include national advocacy, publications, and interactive services that provide education and support for patients, families, and health professionals. For more visit us online at www.ASHAsexualhealth.org and www.nccc-online.org.
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The American Social Health Association (ASHA) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1914 to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities, with a focus on educating about and preventing sexually transmitted infections. ASHA’s educational web sites include: www.ASHAstd.org, www.iwannaknow.org (for teens and young adults), and www.quierosaber.org (Spanish language site).
Founded in 1996, The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) is a growing coalition of people coping with cervical cancer and HPV related issues. The Coalition primarily consist of women, family members, friends and caregivers, but also includes women’s groups, cytotechnologists, health care providers, bio-tech companies, cancer researchers, and organizations providing cervical cancer detection programs. Their web sites are www.nccc-online.org and www.giahc.org.