State health department encourages cervical screenings, HPV
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[January 23, 2013]
CHICAGO -- During National
Cervical Awareness Month, observed every January, the Illinois
Department of Public Health is encouraging regular screening for
cervical cancer and vaccination for the human papillomavirus, known
as HPV, which is the leading cause of the disease.
"Because of advances in screening, as well as the HPV vaccine,
cervical cancer is highly preventable. It is also very treatable if
detected early," said IDPH Director LaMar Hasbrouck. "There are
often no noticeable symptoms with cervical cancer, so it is
important to get screened regularly. Now is also the time for teens
and young women and men to talk with health care providers about the
HPV vaccine, which can prevent the most common types of HPV that
cause cervical cancer."
All women are at risk for cervical cancer;
however, it occurs most often in women over age 30. About 12,000
women each year in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer. In
Illinois, it is projected that about 580 women will be diagnosed
with cervical cancer this year, and an estimated 160 will die of the
The primary cause of cervical cancer is HPV, which is the most
common sexually transmitted disease. At least half of all sexually
active people will have HPV at some point in their lives, but
relatively few women will develop cervical cancer.
Cervarix and Gardasil are licensed HPV vaccines for females ages
9-26. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that
all 11- or 12-year-old girls get the three doses (shots) of either
brand of HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer. CDC also
recommends the vaccine for girls and women ages 13-26 who did not
get any or all of the doses when they were younger.
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Gardasil is also licensed for males ages 9 through 26. CDC
recommends Gardasil for all males ages 11-21.
For more information about cervical cancer screening and the
Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, contact IDPH’s
toll-free Women's Health-Line at 888-522-1282 or visit
Department of Public Health file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]