January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month; Young people invited to be vaccinated

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

Nearly 15,000 new cases were diagnosed in the United States last year.

But Dr Ruth Stephenson of the Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Jersey said there are vaccines on the market to protect against the virus that commonly causes cervical cancer.

“They’re FDA-approved for all males and females ages 11-39, so basically we’re recommending all young people get vaccinated because that’s often when people are exposed to the HPV virus,” he said. she declared.

The virus is common. Most people are exposed to it at some point, but some strains are more likely to cause cancer. She said the vaccine was a lifesaver.

“The biggest breakthrough in cervical cancer was the HPV vaccine, we are seeing cervical cancers decrease across the world and in our country thanks to the vaccine, it is important to see your gynecologist regularly and get a Pap test,” she said.

She said women are advised to start Pap tests and cervical cancer screening at age 21.

Stephenson said there are also other ways to prevent cervical cancer.

Smoking, immunosuppression, those kinds of things also put you at higher risk, so we encourage all women who have a history of HPV infection or cervical dysplasia or any cervical cancer to quit smoking as it can definitely affect their prognosis,” she said.

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