Princeton Community Hospital promotes cervical cancer screenings and HPV vaccinations

PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — Princeton Community Hospital recommends cervical cancer screenings and HPV vaccinations during Cervical Health Awareness month.

January is Cervical Health Awareness month, and while cervical cancer occurs more often in women over 30, anyone with a cervix is at risk. Cervical cancer screenings are recommended for anyone with a cervix from 21 to 65 years old.

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A lot of cervical cancers can be prevented, and is very treatable if it is caught early. Many cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a virus that can be passed from person to person through physical contact.

The HPV vaccine and cervical cancer screenings are some ways that help prevent cervical cancer. According to the West Virginia Cancer Burden Report, around 89 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 32 die because of cervical cancer annually.

While HPV types can be main risk factors for those who develop cervical cancer, there are other things, such as smoking, that can increase the risk of cancer.

Pap tests and HPV tests are the two screening tests that can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early. The Pap test looks for precancers which are cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. The HPV test looks for human papillomavirus that can cause these cell changes. The most important thing you can do to help prevent cervical cancer is to get vaccinated, have regular screening tests, and not smoke

Khristy Shrewsbury | Director of Outpatient Cancer Services at PCH

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Talking to your healthcare providers about the risk factors and choosing which screening test is best, is recommended for anyone who is thinking about getting a cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination.

Appointments at Princeton Community Hospital can be scheduled by calling 304-487-7000. The West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) has free or low-cost cervical screenings for anyone uninsured or underinsured who can qualify. More information can be found by visiting their website or by calling 1-800-642-8522.

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