Cervical cancer is still a scourge | News, sports, jobs

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At the beginning of the year, we are quickly offering you a way to get off to a healthy start in 2022.

It’s Cervical Health Awareness Month – a great time for our female readers to get tested.

American Cancer Society officials report that between 60 and 80 percent of women with newly diagnosed invasive cervical cancer have not had a Pap smear in more than five years, and unfortunately some may never have had one.

One of the unscreened groups includes older women who may believe they have never been diagnosed with cervical cancer in their reproductive years. Other unchecked groups are the uninsured; ethnic minorities, particularly Latina women, African Americans, and Asians; and poor rural women.

American Cancer Society officials estimated that approximately 14,480 new cases of invasive cervical cancer would be diagnosed in the United States in 2021 and forecast that approximately 4,290 women would die from the disease.

In Ohio, it was projected that 500 new cases would be diagnosed and 150 deaths diagnosed. In Pennsylvania, the projections showed 560 new cases and 160 deaths, while in West Virginia, 80 new cases were projected. Predicted deaths were not available.

Evidence shows that while cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world, it is also one of the most preventable and treatable.

The five-year survival rate, or the percentage of women who survive at least five years after the cancer is discovered, for all stages of cervical cancer is 65 percent. If detected early, the five-year survival rate of women with invasive cervical cancer is around 90 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

With that in mind, Food and Drug Administration officials have made advances to increase the sensitivity of the Pap test and new guidelines have been developed regarding the frequency of cervical cancer screenings.

Getting checked early, especially if you have cervical cancer, is the best defense as the disease usually doesn’t show symptoms or signs.

Statistics show that cervical cancer was once a leading cause of cancer death in American women.

But between 1955 and 1992, the death rate from cervical cancer decreased by nearly 70 percent due to the increased reliability of the tests.

Cancer, including cervical cancer, remains a major killer in the Ohio Valley. And although our area has been plagued by many forms of the disease over the years, early detection remains the best defense possible. Period.

Please take the time to take a test.

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