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Help stop cervical cancer PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, December 16, 2012 3:31 PM

Each year in the United States, over 4,000 women die from cervical cancer and another 10,000+ are diagnosed with the disease.

In Indiana, there are approximately 250 new cases of cervical cancer every year. Every three days, a Hoosier woman dies from cervical cancer. The Cervical Cancer-Free America Initiative, including the Kristen Forbes EVE Foundation and University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health, is working hard save lives.

Cervical cancer affects the cervix, the part of the body that connects the uterus to the vagina.

Virtually all cervical cancers are attributed to the Human Papillomavirus, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Two high risk types of HPV are associated with cervical cancer. HPV 18 causes about 10 percent of all cervical cancers and HPV 16 causes 80 to 90 percent of all cervical cancers.

“Only 40 percent of American women have heard of HPV, and of those, only 20 percent have heard it’s linked to cervical cancer,” says Kirk Forbes, founder of the Kristen Forbes EVE Foundation.

Vaccines such as Gardasil® and Cervarix™ have been developed to prevent infection with high-risk types of HPV and have the potential to greatly reduce the occurrence of cervical cancer.

Forbes shares how these vaccinations really make a difference. “Australia vaccinated 87 percent of their 11 and 12 year-old females with Gardasil® from 2006 to 2008 and have already seen a 77 percent reduction in HPV.”

There is an HPV screening test that checks for the virus that causes the cell changes on the cervix, and the results provide more information on which type of HPV is present.

This test may be used to screen for cervical cancer, with the Pap test, in women aged 30 years and older, and can also be used when a Pap test has unclear results.