Louisville, Ky. (January 22, 2014)—January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and KentuckyOne Health is working to educate Kentuckians on the importance of early detection and screening in the prevention of this deadly disease.
Although it is one of the most preventable cancers, approximately 4,000 American women die from cervical cancer each year. According to the National Cancer Institute statistics, Kentucky is in a group of states with the highest incidence rates for cervical cancer of 8.5-11 cases per 100,000.
Cervical cancer develops from abnormal cells in the cervix. Research has shown that these abnormal cell changes are almost always caused by human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV.
Potentially cancerous cells in the cervix are traditionally detected through a Pap screening. Women should have a Pap screening at minimum every three years beginning at age 21.
An HPV test is also recommended for women over age 30 in order to identify high-risk types of HPV that are commonly found in cervical cancer so that they can be treated. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the HPV vaccine for girls and young women ages 11-26. Parents are encouraged to become educated about the vaccine and talk with their physicians about whether or not to have their daughters vaccinated.
“Women can protect themselves from cervical dysplasia and cancer by receiving the HPV vaccine and by undergoing regular Pap smear screening,” said Lynn Parker, M.D., gynecological oncologist, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, part of KentuckyOne Health, and director, Gynecologic Oncology, and the Thomas G. Day Endowed Chair in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Louisville.
Early detection is important in the treatment of cervical cancer, yet early cervical cancers usually do not cause symptoms.
Early invasive cervical cancer can be treated by either radical hysterectomy, bilateral pelvic lymph node dissection or radiation therapy. Advanced cervical cancer is treated by chemoradiation. Minimally invasive options, such as robotic surgery, are available for treatment of early cervical cancer. Survival rates for cervical cancer are dependent on stage of disease, tissue type and whether or not the cancer has spread into the lymph nodes.
Receiving regular Pap screenings is important for women to help protect again cervical cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk and how often you should be screened.
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky.