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January 2017

January health observances

January-womens-health

National Health Observances are special days, weeks, or months dedicated to raising awareness about important health topics. January is earmarked to be cervical health awareness month but there are several other observances that are celebrated in this month.

Cervical Health Awareness Month

Cervical Health Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. HPV is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity. It’s also a major cause of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. But over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%. The main reason for this change is the increased use of screening tests. Screening can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early – when it’s small, has not spread, and is easiest to cure. Another way to help prevent cervical cancer in the future is to have children vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes most cases of cervical cancer. (HPV is linked to a lot of other kinds of cancer, too.)

About 79 million Americans currently have HPV. Many people with HPV don’t know they are infected. And each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.

The good news?

  • The HPV vaccine (shots) can prevent HPV.
  • Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.

Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer. Most deaths from cervical cancer could be prevented by regular Pap tests and follow-up care.

How can Cervical Health Awareness Month make a difference?

We can use this opportunity to spread the word about important steps women can take to stay healthy.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Encourage women to get their well-woman visit this year.
  • Let women know that most insurance plans must cover well-woman visits and cervical cancer screening. This means that, depending on their insurance, women can get these services at no cost to them.
  • Talk to parents about how important it is for their pre-teens to get the HPV vaccine. Both boys and girls need the vaccine.

Other health observances in January ::

MONTH-LONG OBSERVANCES
Birth Defects Prevention Month (National)
Blood Donor Month (National)
Cervical Health Awareness Month
Glaucoma Awareness Month
JUST CLAP FOR LIFE!
Radon Awareness Month

WEEK-LONG OBSERVANCES
16–20 Healthy Weight Week
23–29 Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (National)

RECOGNITION DAYS | EVENTS
20 Women’s Healthy Weight Day
25 IV Nurse Day

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