Women In Government Encourages Legislators to Join the Fight to Eliminate Cervical Cancer

Women In Government Encourages Legislators to Join the Fight to Eliminate Cervical Cancer

Washington, DC – January 2012 – January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Women In Government encourages state legislators to address cervical cancer prevention by increasing access to the most advanced screening and preventive technologies, particularly for underserved women, and increasing awareness about HPV and cervical cancer.

Women In Government’s fight against cervical cancer began in 2004 when the organization launched the Challenge to Eliminate Cervical Cancer Campaign. The Campaign engages state legislators nationwide in policy and awareness initiatives to advance cervical cancer prevention efforts. In the course of seven years, all 50 states had introduced and enacted legislation aimed at the elimination of cervical cancer, from creating cervical cancer prevention task forces, to enhancing access to screenings and vaccines, to initiating public education campaigns and mobilizing efforts to reach underserved populations.

At Women In Government’s Second Annual Healthcare Summit Office of Women’s Health Luncheon the state’s role in helping eliminate HPV was discussed. A central strategy is to reach out to your state’s Office of Women’s Health staff for new ideas on how you can disseminate information aimed at empowering and informing your constituents about preventing against cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer still remains the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Every 2½ hours, a woman dies of cervical cancer in the United States, despite its being the only cancer with a single-known cause – HPV – which makes it virtually 100% preventable. HPV vaccines that prevent 70 percent of all cervical cancers are now available.

Women In Government develops and updates annual policy recommendations to help guide legislators in the continued fight against cervical cancer, paying particular attention to gaps in current policy, and the need to address the availability of new technologies. In addition, Women In Government has partnered again with The Pearl of Wisdom Campaign to Prevent Cervical Cancer, in an effort to increase awareness of the options available for HPV prevention and treatment.

“In recognition of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month,” stated Marjorie Maginn, “Women In Government encourages all state legislators to continue working collaboratively within their communities and legislatures to support cervical cancer screening, vaccination, and treatment programs.”

About Cervical Cancer
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20 million people are currently infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is also a main cause of cervical cancer. At least half of all sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives. For 90 percent of infected women, the virus is naturally cleared by the body and becomes undetectable within two years. However, persistent infection with “high-risk” types of HPV can cause cell changes that, if left untreated, can lead to cervical cancer.

Rates of cervical cancer can be reduced by focusing on screening and prevention through: HPV vaccinations; regular screenings, including the Pap test; and follow-up with a doctor if test results are abnormal.

About Women In Government
Women In Government is a national, non-profit, bi-partisan organization of women state legislators providing leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources to address and resolve complex public policy issues.

For more information, please contact, Libby Derting, Director of Policy and Programs, at lderting@womeningovernment.org or 202-333-0825 ext. 248.


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