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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall is the public information director of the Henry/Stark Health Departments.
Blog: What you should know about cervical cancer
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By Henry Health
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The Henry and Stark County Health Departments 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 true tragedy of

the disease is that cervical cancer screening tests and vaccines exist that

can prevent virtually every case.

* 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 Health Department staff

is pleased to remind area women that they have clinic services that

addresses the prevention of deaths from breast and cervical cancer.

Sandy Sommer, RN Director of Clinical Services adds, "Our clinic program

encourages early detection by providing well women exams, clinical breast

exams, pap smears, 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 Health Department accepts medicaid payments and private pay. A

sliding fee scale, based on client income, has been established to assist

everyone to obtain services.

Sommer adds, 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. The Health Department

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 Department office location call

(309) 852-5272 (Main Office) or (309) 792-4011 (Colona Office) or visit our

website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and

Stark County Health Departments.

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