January: Cervical Health Awareness Month

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Each year, 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than 4,000 will die from it. That's why The American Social Health Association and The National Cervical Cancer Coalition have named January Cervical Health Awareness Month.

The goal is to encourage women across the country to get screened for cervical cancer and receive the Human Papillomavirus or HPV vaccine if they're eligible.

This virus is so common that millions of people will get exposed to HPV on a yearly basis, that’s why Dr. Method says prevention is key. He says it’s all about getting the vaccine that is now available to boys and girls. They are also able to screen boys and girls using an HPV probe. It's a DNA probe that can actually detect the virus.

“The director of the CDC has made his number one objective in 2014 as increasing the vaccination rates for boys and girls in the United States. That just tells you a couple things; one is that this is a completely preventable disease. People don't have to die from cervical cancer, anal cancers, penile cancer, they don't have to die from it you can prevent it,” explains Michiana Hematology Oncology Vice President Dr. Michael Method.

While these statistics are scary, they certainly prompt action. Dr. Method says even though the rate of exposure is huge, 99 percent of men and women can clear the virus on their own. He says it may take 18 to 24 months but it will clear. The other one percent will need assistance in getting rid of the virus.

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