New Haven, CT - January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is urging people in Connecticut and Rhode Island to start the New Year off right by taking charge of their health by scheduling important preventive screenings, such as a Pap test, which can detect irregularities that lead to cervical cancer.
“All people with a cervix can develop cervical cancer, and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England encourages anyone over 21 years old to talk with their health care provider to see if they are due for a screening, and encourage their loved ones to do the same,” said Dr. Timothy Spurrell, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more people in Connecticut and Rhode Island have access to the care they need, including Pap tests, testing for sexually transmitted infections and the HPV vaccine, without having to pay out of pocket for copays and other expenses.”
According to the American Cancer Society, each year in the United States nearly 13,000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 die as a result. Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV), a very common sexually transmitted infection. The American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as Planned Parenthood, support ensuring that all young people under 26 years old get the HPV vaccine. For people over the age of 21, the best way to prevent cervical cancer is to get routine Pap tests.
Regular checkups are important in protecting one’s health and preventing serious health issues. Preventive screenings can rule out or detect life-threatening diseases which will allow people to live longer, healthier lives. While there is no cure for HPV, there is treatment for the abnormal cell changes in the cervix that are caused by HPV. Treatment is also available for cervical cancer, which, when caught early, has a nearly 100 percent five-year survival rate.
As the leading women’s health care provider in Connecticut and Rhode Island, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England is proud to offer preventive health care services to help people make the best decisions for their health. PPSNE annually provides nearly 14,000 life-saving cancer screenings and other preventative services. Planned Parenthood is a trusted, local resource for convenient and confidential services including STD/STI testing, all FDA approved birth control methods, and HIV testing, counseling, and prevention (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis [PrEP], a daily pill that helps prevent HIV by more than 90 percent) and more.
To schedule an appointment, visit ppsne.org or call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526).