Over 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States every year.  That is 33 women a day.

Unlike some other cancers, cervical cancer is not considered to be passed down through family genes.  It is caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV).  When a female is infected with these types of HPV, and the virus doesn’t go away on its own, abnormal cells can develop in the lining of the cervix.  If these abnormal cells are not found early through routine cervical cancer screening and treated, cervical cancer can develop.

According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer for women worldwide, but because it develops over time, it is also one of the most preventable types of cancer.

The American Social Health Association (ASHA) and the NCCC have named January Cervical Health Awareness Month to encourage women across the country to get screened for cervical cancer and receive the HPV vaccine if they're eligible.

With South Carolina ranked ninth in the nation in cervical cancer deaths, our advanced diagnostics and treatments are a source of hope to thousands of women each year.  As South Carolina's only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, MUSC Hollings Cancer Center offers patients access to the most advanced gynecologic cancer research and clinical trials.

As we begin the start of a new year, many of us will make resolutions to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle.  As we buy our fruits and vegetables and set our workout goals, let’s not forget about our yearly preventative screenings.  Because cervical cancer is a preventable type of cancer, it is very important for women to get screened for cervical cancer (the test will happen during their yearly Pap tests). 

If you have any questions about cervical cancer, please visit the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.  For more information about Hollings Cancer Center’s Gynecologic Cancer Program, please click here