BEREA, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2022) – With the new year and Cervical Cancer Awareness Month officially underway, Saint Joseph Berea encourages women to resolve to make cervical cancer screenings a priority for 2023.
Regular screenings like a Pap test help to detect cervical cancer in its earliest stages. Screenings have been credited for the significant drop in cervical cancer deaths across the U.S. Still, according to the American Cancer Society, more than 4,200 women in the U.S. were expected to die from the disease in 2022; more than 14,100 new cases were diagnosed.
“Cervical cancer is treatable when it is detected early,” said Jessica Pennington, MD, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Primary Care in Berea. “It can exist without symptoms, which makes regular screenings critical. Cervical cancer can be prevented through a combination of Pap tests and the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccination.”
Cervical cancer develops from abnormal cells in the cervix, which are almost always caused by human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV, according to research from the National Cancer Institute. Women who smoke, have a family history of cervical cancer, have a weakened immune system, or had exposure to the hormonal drug Diethylstilbestrol (DES) in the mid-1990s have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
omen who are not predisposed to cervical cancer should receive screenings every three years, starting at age 21. This preventive screening is covered through most health insurance plans. For underinsured and uninsured women, the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation’s Yes, Cerv! program provides screenings, treatment and support at no cost to eligible patients across the clinically integrated network of CHI Saint Joseph Health providers.
“We started the Yes, Cerv! program in 2021 because we know the importance of cervical cancer screening,” said Tracy Colon, RN, BSN, Yes, Mamm! Yes, Cerv! clinical program manager, CHI Saint Joseph Health. “Through grants and our generous donors, we are able to provide free Pap smears to women across Kentucky who are uninsured or underinsured. We want to make sure all women have access to this critical screening.”
Start 2023 by being proactive with your overall health. To learn more about CHI Saint Joseph Health's cervical cancer screening locations or to schedule an appointment, visit CHISaintJosephHealth.org/find-a-provider.
To learn more about the Yes, Cerv! program, visit CHISaintJosephHealth.org/yes-cerv.
About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of CommonSpirit Health, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 100 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes, home health agencies and an ambulatory Care Center. The hospitals in CHI Saint Joseph Health are Flaget Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph Jessamine, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to providing a wide array of services toward a goal of building a healthier future for all. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.
About the CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group
CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group is the employed provider network of CHI Saint Joseph Health with 88 locations in 17 communities throughout central and eastern Kentucky.