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Cervical Health Awareness Month

Health Alert

1/13/2012 - Cervical Health Awareness Month 
 

Cervical cancer is not the topic for your typical dinner conversation. However, Vincent Valente, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist at Ukiah Valley Medical Center says it should be.

Why?

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Statistics from the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) indicates that approximately 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Furthermore, more than 4,000 lives are lost annually from cervical cancer.

The NCCC also says that cervical cancer is caused by specific types of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a common infection that almost everyone who is sexually active will have at some point.

Dr. Valente reports that there are vaccines that can block the types of HPV most often found with cervical diseases.

“These Pap tests and HPV tests can identify women most at risk,” commented Dr. Valente.

He indicated that females (and males) between the ages of 9 and 26 are eligible for vaccinations. And, females over 21 should schedule regular Pap tests. A healthcare professional should work with women to determine ideal candidates for the HPV tests.

Regular Pap tests can detect significant abnormal cell changes that may arise before cancer develops. “Knowing it early can reduce the number of deaths from cervical cancer,” shared Dr. Valente.

To schedule an exam with Dr. Valente or to discuss cervical cancer warning signs, call (707) 462-2945.

-- UVMC --