Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) encourages women aged 21 and over to screen for cervical cancer. It is very important to get screened regularly because cervical cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms, especially in the early stages. An estimated 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer occur each year in the United States.
Health screenings for cervical cancer:
- The Pap test (or Pap smear) is one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests available. It looks for precancerous cell changes on the cervix that can be treated, so that cervical cancer is prevented. The Pap test is recommended for women aged 21-65 years old.
- If you are 30 or older, you may choose to have an HPV test along with a Pap test. The HPV test looks for Human Papilloma Virus – this virus is the main cause of cervical cancer. The HPV test can detect many high-risk types of HPV even before there are visible changes to cervical cells.
Cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Now, thanks to cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination, it is the most preventable of all female cancers. Through a grant from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS), SWNPHD works to increase cervical cancer screening in southwest Nebraska through a program called Health Hub. “This program educates women on preventive health screenings, offers assistance to get their screenings scheduled, and helps them progress toward healthy living,” states Lori Rowley RN, Health Hub Program Manager at SWNPHD.
Women with no health insurance or whose insurance does not cover preventive cancer screenings can qualify for free screenings through the Every Woman Matters Program. Residents of Nebraska can pick up an application at SWNPHD or their local medical clinic.
Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins, and Red Willow counties. The website swhealth.ne.gov contains many resources and additional information helpful to prevent disease, promote and protect health. You can also follow SWNPHD on Facebook and Instagram.
Source: Nebraska Regional News
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