January 2020: Cervical Health Awareness Month Proclamation Signing

Press Release No. 2020-039

January 2020: Cervical Health Awareness Month

Proclamation Signing

The Department of Public Health and Social Services Guam Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and the Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, in partnership with the Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition, is spearheading the Cervical Health Awareness Month Proclamation Signing on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at 3:30 P.M. in the Large Conference Room of the Governor’s Complex, Adelup.

The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month, to focus on cervical cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection.  The Human Papillomavirus or HPV is a viral infection passed between people through skin-to-skin contact.  Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are attributable to HPV infection.  Two types of HPV (16 & 18) cause 70% of cervical cancers and precancerous cervical lesions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the mainland U.S. has a much higher overall cancer rate than Guam, the cervical cancer rate on Guam is higher than the U.S. (10.3 vs 7.5 per 100,000 people).  Guam’s preliminary cancer data from 2007-2017 shows that there were 74 cases of diagnosed invasive cervical cancer, 179 early stage (insitu) cervical cancers and 20 deaths.

We use this opportunity to spread the word on important steps that can be taken to stay healthy.  Cervical cancer can often be prevented through the HPV vaccine and treatable with regular screening tests and follow up care.  Cervical Cancer screening can help detect abnormal cells early before they turn into cancer and may be done through regular well-woman visits from their medical provider.  Routine screening is usually covered by medical insurance plans or assistance programs such as the Guam Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for eligible women. In addition, education for parents on prevention and the HPV vaccine is available at local medical clinics and the Department of Public Health and Social Services Northern & Southern Regional Community Health Centers.

For more information about this event, please contact Ms. Rachel Ramirez at 638-7474.

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