January is National Cervical Health Awareness month. About thirty years ago, cervical cancer was statistically the deadliest cancer to women. However, regular screenings have combat that number, reducing the mortality rate by 50%.
The two most common types of cancer of the cervix are squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas. Both types of cancers develop over time and generally take years to fully develop, which is why screenings or Pap tests are an effective method of catching these abnormal cells. Another method to prevent cervical cancers is receiving a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. There are more than 40 HPV types, while only two high- risk types are cancerous.
While deaths from cervical cancer are on the decline, those that are effected by HPV is increasing. The CDC estimates more than 14 million new genital HPV infections occur each year. By getting an HPV vaccination the risk of HPV infection is much lower which drastically reduces the risk of Cervical Cancer.