By Claire Ninde
Special to The PREVIEW
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) encourages women ages 21-74 across Colorado to start the year by talking with their health care providers about scheduling a Pap test.
A Pap test is the first line of defense against cervical cancer. When cervical cancer is found early, more than 92 percent of women had a five-year survival rate.
Every year in the United States, approximately 13,170 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 4,250 women die of the disease. African American women and Latinas have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer and African American women have a higher cervical cancer death rate. SJBPH acknowledges that social, economic and environmental inequities result in adverse health outcomes and have a greater impact than individual choices. Reducing health disparities through systems change can help improve opportunities for all Coloradans.
SJBPH’s Women’s Wellness Connection (program provides free screenings for cervical and breast cancer for eligible women between ages 21-64 in Colorado. Breast exams, Pap tests and pelvic exams are included. Referrals for free mammograms are available for women who qualify.
To schedule an appointment for a well woman exam and for more information about the HPV series, call the SJBPH Sexual Health Clinic at 335-2015. More information about the clinic is at sjbpublichealth.org/sexualhealthclinic/.