Women’s health highlighted as Gov. dubs January Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 2:02 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has highlighted women’s health as she proclaimed January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

On Monday, Jan. 30, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly proclaimed January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Through a partnership with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansans can get pap tests for cervical cancer to reduce long-term cancer risks.

Gov. Kelly noted that free or low-cost screenings through the department are available for eligible women at average risk that do not have health insurance and meet income guidelines.

Kelly indicated that there are many ways a person can show their loved ones they care - and they should make screening and preventing cervical cancer one of them. On average, she said 100 women in Kansas are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year - half of which are diagnosed as late stage. If caught early, cervical cancers are treatable.

Anne Zajic, a mother of three active girls and a loving wife shared her own experience.

“I remember feeling as though the room was spinning when I learned I had cervical cancer,” said Zajic. “I have been cancer free for more than five years and encourage others to get the HPV vaccine and tests regularly because cervical cancer is a very preventable illness and one that I hope my daughters won’t have to experience.”

The Governor noted that newly released data shows that nearly 84% of women are up to date in cervical cancer screening. However, screening must begin at 21 and follow the schedule recommended by a healthcare provider. The goal in Kansas is that 90% of women will be up to date in cervical cancer screening by 2027.

Kelly said the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends screening for cervical cancer every three years with cervical cytology for women 21 - 65 or every 5 years with primary HPV testing or HPV-Pap co-testing for women 30-65.

Kelly indicated that recommended screenings beginning at age 21 are most effective in the prevention of cervical cancer. For more information, click HERE.