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Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there were 11,150 new cases of cervical (uterine cervix) cancer and 3,670 deaths in the United States in 2007. Most invasive cervical cancers (between 60 and 80 percent) are found in women who have not had a Pap test within the past five years. Cervical cancer is far more deadly in the developing world. Worldwide, it affects 470,000 women and kills 233,000 each year.

These numbers are unacceptable when you consider that cervical cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable. 

In June 2006, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer and other diseases in female by certain types of genital human papillomavirus (HPV).  Gardasil® protects against four types of HPV, which together cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts. In two studies involving nearly 18,000 girls and women, the vaccine proved almost 100 percent effective in preventing precancerous cervical lesions linked to the four strains of HPV.

Recognizing the powerful impact that HPV vaccination can have on preventing cervical cancer in women and girls, GFWC members amended GFWC Resolution 013-210: Immunization for Prevention of Childhood Diseases in 2007 to add the HPV vaccine the list of recommended immunizations for children.

There is abundant research to prove that early detection and appropriate treatment of gynecologic cancers are key in lowering mortality rates. Learn more about cervical cancer and current research and treatments, as well as how you can raise awareness and spread hope:

»Know the Basics about Cervical Cancer, WomensHealth.gov

»The Cervical Cancer/HPV Quilt Project, National Cervical Cancer Coalition

»What You Need to Know About Cancer of the Cervix, National Cancer Institute

»Cervical Cancer Advances, National Cancer Institute

»Raise Awareness Call to Action, National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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