— Modern medicine has given us unprecedented tools to prevent cervical cancer, and the American Social Health Association (ASHA) and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) call for all women to have greater access to life-saving screening tests and vaccines.
Each year in the U.S. approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 die as a result. The true tragedy of the disease is that cervical cancer screening tests and vaccines exist that can prevent virtually every case.
In both the U.S. and around the world, the disease disproportionately impacts poor women. ASHA President and CEO Lynn B. Barclay says that in addition to not having access to health care, women often lack awareness about cervical cancer. “Science has put us in a remarkable position to protect women from cervical cancer, but technology is only half the battle,” Barclay says. “It’s imperative we continue efforts that not only promote greater access to health care, but that we also inform women about cervical cancer and the marvelous means we now have to prevent this disease.”
2012 will see ASHA/NCCC focus strongly on increasing uptake of cervical cancer vaccines. “Fewer than half of girls and young women who are eligible for these vaccines have completed the three-dose series, so increasing vaccine uptake is a priority for us.” Barclay says a key to getting more “needles in arms” is to reach out to healthcare providers in addition to the general public: “Especially for parents, having the family doctor or nurse endorse a vaccine is often crucial. With this in mind, we’re developing additional cervical cancer information and counseling tools designed specifically for front-line healthcare providers.”
ASHA/NCCC address the challenges of cervical cancer prevention by offering numerous programs that include national advocacy, publications, and interactive services that provide education and support for patients, families, and health professionals. For more visit us online at http://www.ASHAstd.org and http://www.nccc-online.org/index.html.
The American Social Health Association (ASHA) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1914 to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities, with a focus on educating about and preventing sexually transmitted infections. ASHA’s educational web sites include: http://www.ASHAstd.org, http://www.iwannaknow.org, and http://www.quierosaber.org.
Founded in 1996, The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) is a growing coalition of people coping with cervical cancer and HPV related issues. The Coalition primarily consist of women, family members, friends and caregivers, but also includes women’s groups, cytotechnologists, healthcare providers, bio-tech companies, cancer researchers, and organizations providing cervical cancer detection programs. Their web sites are http://www.nccc-online.org/index.html and http://giahc.org/.