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Advocacy | Focus on Cervical Cancer

January is the USA's National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. EOTP wants to make sure you are informed about cervical cancer risk, detection, and treatment. For more about cervical cancer month, contact advocacy@eyesontheprize.org

January 2001 is National Cervical Cancer Month in the U.S.

This month U.S. citizens have the opportunity to generate more awareness of cervical cancer. We can begin by celebrating the passage of the recent Breast and Cervical Cancer Act, a U.S. federal program that will allow more low-income women diagnosed with cervical cancer to enter treatment. Hear! Hear!

Cervical cancer is the gynecological cancer termed "most treatable" if caught in the early stage. But too many of us at EOTP have suffered with misread pap tests or delayed treatment. Additionally, because the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has been found to be causal for cervical cancer and, according to the January 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Chlamydia trachomatis serotype G appears to be strongly associated with the development of cervical squamous cell carcinoma, we at EOTP have much to do to raise awareness both in the U.S. and around the globe.

Following is a list of things we can do, no matter which country we live in, to promote awareness of cervical cancers among our medical providers, grandmothers, mothers, aunts, nieces, daughters and granddaughters:

  1. Take care of yourself first. Make sure you and your loved ones have a yearly Pap test and demand that you receive a copy of your pathology report from Cytology. Don't just take your doctor's "negative" or "atypical" comments - get the actual report.

  2. Consider a test for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV - sometimes called genital warts). While only a few strains of this most common virus are virulent [it is estimated that up to 70 percent of Americans carry one of the hundreds of strains of HPV - much like exposure to a common cold virus], there are DNA tests that can determine whether you sustain a risk. Tell your doctor you want to be tested for papilloma virus strains 16, 18, and 33.

  3. Take a diagnosis of Clamydia seriously. While cervical cancer is emphatically not a sexually transmitted disease, insult to the delicate tissues of the cervix heightens the potential for later development of the disease. If you or a loved one are diagnosed with clamydia, be particularly vigilant with subsequent pap tests.

  4. If you smoke, quit! Smoking has been shown to have a strong correlation with cervical cancers.

  5. Talk about cervical cancer without shame. Our reproductive organs are just that: organs, like the liver or lungs. Help educate other women to respect their sexuality and prevent disease by encouraging their yearly pap tests for cervical cancer and requesting a test for the Human Papilloma Virus.

  6. Write to your local media and tell them that you think yearly pap tests are essential and that the public needs more coverage of gynecological cancers. Direct them to pr@eyesontheprize.org if they want personal stories of cervical cancer survivors.

  7. Write or call your local health program on radio or TV. Tell them about National Cervical Cancer month in the U.S. and about EyesOnThePrize.org. Have them contact pr@eyesontheprize.org for follow-up.

  8. Write or call major television networks. Tell them you want more stories about gynecological cancers and more realistic treatment of the devastation these cancers that 'hit below the belt' bring to women's lives.

  9. Contact your political representatives and tell them you want more money placed in cervical cancer early detection and prevention programs.

  10. Make sure your medical providers have an EyesOnThePrize.org poster and handout cards for newly diagnosed women in their offices! You can print the poster and cards out from the tools section of EyesOnThePrize.org. Let us know if you need the poster or cards translated into another language.

  11. Wear the beautiful EyesOnThePrize.org sweatshirt or t-shirt with Iris and EOTP logo. When friends and family ask about it you can proudly tell them that you wear it to increase awareness of all gynecological cancers.

  12. Tell us your ideas for Cervical Cancer Awareness so we can share them at the Advocacy section of EyesOnThePrize.org!

Frequently Asked Questions about cervical cancer

Stories of cervical cancer survivors

Resources for learning more about cervical cancer

Getting active about cervical cancer

Talk about cervical cancer