Published DateLACONIA — January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and LRGHealthcare joins the National Cervical Cancer Coalition call for expanded access to life-saving screening tests and vaccines.
Each year in the U.S., approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 die as a result.
"Awareness and early detection are our best defense against cervical cancer," states obstetrician/gynecologist Michael Tovell, MD "Cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent, with regular screening tests and follow-up."
Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early—
— The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for pre-cancers, cell changes that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
— The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirushuman papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.
The Pap test is recommended for all women between the ages of 21 and 65 years old, and can be done in a doctor's office or clinic.
Women are urged to talk to their primary care provider about any screenings they may need. Those who are uninsured, or for whom payment for screening poses a hardship, may qualify for assistance.
LRGHealthcare participates in the Let No Woman Be Overlooked Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, which provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to New Hampshire women who meet certain requirements. To learn more, visit the health resources section at lrgh.org or call 524-3211 ext. 7000.
Caring for Women is a clinical department of Lakes Region General Hospital that provides woman in our community with convenient options, better appointment availability, and a team of medical professionals to meet their healthcare needs. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 603-527-1855.