To show our appreciation for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month this January, we’d like to share this brand new infographic! Click on the thumbnail to see the full image:
Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it’s found early. It is usually discovered at a very early stage through a Pap test. Cervical cancer is primarily caused by the human papillomavirus virus, or HPV. HPV is contracted through sexual intercourse with an infected individual.
The HPV Vaccine
Gardasil, a new vaccine licensed by the FDA in 2006, has been proven to prevent HPV. Gardasil targets four strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), HPV-6, 11, 16, and 18. HPV-6 and -11 account for about 90% of genital warts, while HPV-16 and HPV-18 cause about 70% of all cervical cancers.
The vaccine is also being tested in males because they can also receive the STD and transfer it to their sexual partners. The HPV causes genital warts and is associated with rare cases of cancer of the penis.
Oncological studies have proven that Gardasil is 100% effective in the prevention of cervical precancers and noninvasive cervical cancers caused by HPV- 16 and -18.
Screening Tests for Cervical Cancer
Many tests and screenings have been used to prevent cervical cancer but the Pap test (Pap Smear) has been the most effective. Pap tests are used as a cervical screening to detect precancerous and cancerous processes in the endocervical canal of the female reproductive system. The procedure requires a brush, a piece of cotton or a small wooden stick to gently scrape cells from the cervix and the vagina.
Cervical Cancer Statistics
Cervical cancer statistics for the United States as of 2010 :
- 10,000 women diagnosed per year
- 4,000 die per year
- 225,000 deaths per year around the world
- Cervical cancer was one of the most widespread causes of cancer death for women in America. Between the years of 1955 and 1992, the death rate decreased by almost 70%. The major reason for this change, was the increased use of the Pap test. This screening method can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early, in its most curable stage.
- Most cases found in women younger than the age of 50. It rarely develops in women younger than 20.
- 80% of Americans get HPV infections, which can lead to cervical cancer in females.
Notable Cervical Cancer Organizations
American Cancer Society – The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem.
CancerCare – Cancer Care is the leading national organization providing free support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer.
National Cancer Institute – The National Cancer Institute coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.
OncoLink – OncoLink is the first multimedia oncology information resource placed on the Internet. OncoLink’s mission is consistent with that of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, and the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania which has sanctioned its use and development.
Women’s Cancer Network – The Foundation for Women’s Cancer is a not for profit organization dedicated to funding research and training, and ensuring education and public awareness of gynecologic cancer prevention, early detection and optimal treatment.
Interested in Making a Donation?
We like to picture a world where cervical cancer is not something that anyone ever has to worry about again. Luckily, there are many prominent organizations that share the same dream of a cervical cancer free world. If you are interested in making a donation this January (or any time), the following organizations would truly appreciate any support you’re willing to give: