January is Cervical Cancer Screening Month, and Manhattan Women‘s Health wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do to prevent cervical cancer. More than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer each year.
HPV (human papillomavirus) is a prevalent infection that spreads through sexual activity and causes almost all cervical cancer cases. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, but many people with HPV don’t know they are infected.
The good news?
- The HPV vaccine (shot) can prevent HPV.
- Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.
In honor of National Cervical Cancer Screening Month, we encourage:
- Women should start getting regular cervical cancer screenings at age 21.
- Parents to make sure pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12.
Teens and young adults also need to get the HPV vaccine if they don’t get it as pre-teens. Women up to age 45 and men up to 21 can still get the vaccine. You and your family members may be able to get these services at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to learn more.