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Raising Cervical Cancer Awareness

January 22–28 is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, a great time to educate women about how they can take steps to protect themselves against cervical cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV), an extremely common sexually transmitted infection that causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. Each year, approximately 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the UK, and nearly 1,000 women die of cervical cancer.

The good news is that, thanks to HPV vaccines and cervical cancer screenings, cervical cancer can often be prevented. HPV vaccines provide strong protection against HPV infection, and routine cervical screenings have significantly cut the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths.

Health Edco provides a variety of educational resources that help women understand the importance of taking charge of their cervical health. Here are a few prime examples that are perfect for health fairs, classrooms, or school or women’s health clinics:

Pap Tests, Cervical Cancer, and HPV Folding Display
Providing essential information in easy-to-understand terms, this display is perfect to present the essentials about HPV and cervical cancer screening. Simple text and clear graphics explain the connection between HPV and cervical cancer in a conversational, non-threatening way. The display also discusses regular Pap tests (also known as “smear tests”), HPV testing, and HPV vaccines for young people.

See for Yourself: Pap Tests Easel Display
With this easel display, 3-D models reveal how Pap tests can save a woman’s life. Six handpainted models accurately depict a normal cervix, a cervix with a benign tumour, carcinoma in situ, early noninvasive cancer, early invasive cancer, and advanced invasive cancer. Informative text explains the importance of Pap tests and HPV testing to detect precancerous conditions and help prevent cervical cancer.

Feel for Yourself … Cervix Conditions Display
If seeing is believing, feeling is truly understanding, as this interactive display reveals. Five models made of lifelike synthetic material accurately depict a normal cervix, a cervix with a benign polyp, a cervix with early noninvasive cancer, a cervix with early stage cancer, and a cervix with later stage invasive cancer. Informative background text encourages women to talk to their healthcare professionals about cervical screening. Passing around the models is a perfect icebreaker to open conversations about the importance of screening for cervical cancer.

For more great resources that present the facts about cervical cancer and HPV, visit our Women’s Health and Sex Education sections.

Education is key for the prevention of cervical cancer. Steps women can take to decrease their risk of cervical cancer include:

  • Getting vaccinated against HPV. It is recommended that girls aged 12 to 13 receive their first HPV vaccination, followed by a second dose 6 to 12 months later. In addition to cervical cancer, HPV can cause cancer of the vulva and vagina in women, cancer of the penis in men, and anal and mouth and throat cancers in both men and women, as well as genital warts.

  • Attending cervical cancer screenings. Women aged 25 to 49 are invited to attend cervical screenings every 3 years, and women aged 50 to 64 are invited to attend cervical screenings every 5 years. Women 65 and older who haven’t been screened since age 50 or who have recently had abnormal test results may also receive invitations for cervical screening. Screening exams include Pap tests and HPV testing.

  • Not Smoking. Among women with HPV infection, smokers are more likely to develop cervical cancer than nonsmokers.

  • Using a barrier method for birth control. HPV is spread through sexual activity, and using a barrier method (such as a male latex condom, female condom, or diaphragm) during sex offers some—but not complete—protection. Women who practise abstinence have almost no risk of cervical cancer.

Remember: Regular cervical screenings and follow-up care can prevent most deaths from cervical cancer.

©2018 Health Edco®