To the editor:
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. As this community's leading women's health care provider, advocate and educator, Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York urges women to take steps to protect themselves and their daughters against cervical cancer.
Every year, about 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and roughly 4,000 women die of the disease. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women and the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
The good news is cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable. Vaccination against sexually transmitted human papillomavirus - which causes cervical cancer - is the best way to ensure that our daughters are protected against this disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for girls aged 11 to 12.
For women aged 21 to 64, routine pap testing is crucial for detecting cervical cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage - most often before cancer even develops. When caught early, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent.
Planned Parenthood's seven health centers in the North Country offer routine cervical cancer screenings and the HPV vaccine. Last year alone, we provided nearly 3,500 cervical cancer screenings to women across northern New York.
Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York is proud to be the nonprofit health care provider for more than 13,000 of our neighbors. We work every day to keep women healthy, and our doors are open to everyone. Contact your local Planned Parenthood health center to see if you're due for a checkup!
President and CEO
Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York