January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

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January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and the 412th Medical Group at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., wants people to know that there’s a lot they can do to prevent cervical cancer. 

Each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.

Human papillomavirus is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity, and it causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, but many people with HPV don’t know they are infected.

The good news? The HPV vaccine (shot) can prevent HPV.

Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.

In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, the 412th MDG encourages:

* Women to start getting regular cervical cancer screenings at age 21
* Parents to make sure pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11
* Teens and young adults also need to get the HPV vaccine if they didn’t get it as pre-teens. Women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 can still get the vaccine.

Taking small steps can help keep you safe and healthy.

For more information, contact the 412th MDG at 661-277-7118.

Editor’s note: Information provided by the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.