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January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

January 25th, 2023 - April 22nd - 3:24 am

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month. Vaccination for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and regular screenings for cancers and pre-cancers of the cervix are the two most effective measures to decrease risk for cervical cancer.

HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical and other cancers.  Previous HPV infection is the highest risk factor for cervical cancer.  A majority of HPV-related cancers can be prevented through vaccination. The HPV vaccine should be given before an individual becomes sexually active. Administering the vaccine between the ages of 9 and 12 offers the greatest lifelong protection against HPV, but vaccination after age 12 still has protective benefits. Contact your healthcare provider or the Iroquois County Public Health Department for more information about the HPV vaccine.

Screening exams for cervical cancer include an HPV test and a Pap smear exam. Individuals should consult their healthcare provider for screening recommendations. Financial assistance for cervical cancer screenings and some treatments are available through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). For more information on how IBCCP can provide financial assistance with breast and cervical cancer screenings, contact the Iroquois County Public Health Department at (815) 432-2483.