Monday, January 14, 2008 Connecticut Department of Public Health
For Immediate Release William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), as part of Cervical Screening Month, reminds women in Connecticut to schedule their annual cervical cancer screening and urges those who have not been screened in the past year to schedule a screening as well.
In the United States, there were an estimated 11,150 new cases of cervical cancer and 3,670 deaths in 2007. Cervical cancer once was the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. However, during the past four decades, incidence and mortality (the number of deaths each year) from cervical cancer have declined significantly, primarily because of the widespread use of the Papanicolaou (Pap) test to detect cervical abnormalities.
“Although the number of new cases of cervical cancer has declined over the years, we are still losing too many lives,” stated DPH Commissioner, J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “Going for regular Pap tests can help detect cervical cancer early and save lives.”
Cervical cancer can usually be prevented if precancerous cervical lesions are found through Pap tests and treated. About half of the women in the United States who develop cervical cancer have never had a Pap test. Regular Pap tests decrease a woman's risk for developing cervical cancer because they can detect precancerous cervical lesions at early, treatable stages. Cervical cancer screening should begin approximately three years after a woman begins having sexual intercourse, but no later than at 21 years old.
Cervical cancer screenings are available at no charge through the Department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for eligible women. For more information on the program, please visit the DPH website at www.ct.gov/dph and select “Breast and Cervical Cancer” under “Featured Links” or call the Department of Public Health at (860) 509-7804.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.