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State health department raises awareness for cervical cancer in Mississippi

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

January is recognized as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month worldwide and the Mississippi State Department of Health is encouraging women to take protective measures against the disease.

Cervical cancer is a growth of cells that begins in the cervix. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cervical cancer accounts for nearly two percent of cancer cases in Mississippi women — marking the Magnolia State with the second-highest rate of the disease in the U.S.

The single known cause of cervical cancer is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is transmitted through sexual contact. HPV infection causes almost all cases of cervical cancer in women, as well as other cancers in women and men.

Healthcare officials recommend vaccination as the best form of protection against HPV. Vaccination is reported to be most effective in one’s early teens or before becoming sexually active.

Women can also reduce their risk of cervical cancer by practicing good sexual health as well as receiving a vaccine for HPV, per experts in the medical industry.

According to state health officials, the following represents those with the highest risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer:

  • Have a history of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Smoke tobacco products
  • Have multiple sex partners
  • Practice unprotected sex
  • Have sexual intercourse at an early age

For more information about cervical cancer screening and vaccination, click here.

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