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Health agencies observe January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. This month is spent raising awareness and encouraging women to get their screenings.

Women all over the country are affected by Cervical Cancer every year, and some may be in your own community.

The Kirkland Cancer Center and the Tennessee Department of Health are just two agencies working to aid women dealing with this disease.

“Each day one Tennessean lady is diagnosed with Cervical Cancer and every three days one dies,” said Adora Butler, the TN Breast and Cervical Screening Program Coordinator for Madison Co. at the Kirkland Cancer Center.

The Kirkland Cancer Center says Cervical Cancer is a type of cancer that is caused by the Human Papillomavirus, also called HPV. It occurs in the cells of the cervix which is the lower part of the uterus in women.

”HPV is the single most important risk factor as of right now. It contributes to about 90 percent of the Cervical Cancer diagnoses,” said Bulter.

The Tennessee Department of Health talks about how this disease affects different racial populations.

“Black and Hispanic women are just as likely as white women to be diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. Black women are three times more likely, and Hispanics are two times more likely to die than those other populations,” said Tobi Amosun, the Assistant Commissioner with the Family Health and Wellness division of the Depart. of Health.

The department of health believes more deaths occur in the black and brown communities because of the lack of access to healthcare and mistrust in their medical providers. However, this cancer is highly preventable.

“One of the big ones that have been more prevalent in the past 20 to 30 years has been increased screenings. All women between the ages of 21 to 65 should periodic screenings for Cervical Cancer. In addition to that, the HPV vaccination is very important. HPV vaccination has been shown to decrease Cervical Cancer rates by as much as 90 percent,” said Amosun.

The department of health goes on to say other preventative measures are abstinence and living tobacco-free.

If you would like more information about Cervical Cancer you are encouraged to visit the Tennessee Department of Health website or contact the Kirkland Cancer Center.

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