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Cervical Awareness Month,Blue Cross/Jan14,2008 1/14/2008 10:48:41 AM

Each year, about 11,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3,700 women die unnecessarily from this disease(1).

In recognition of Cervical Cancer Awareness month, Independence Blue Cross will make more than 100,000 member outreach calls reminding women that early detection and prevention of cancer can help save lives.

During this educational campaign, Independence Blue Cross will remind women ages 21-49 to receive their cervical cancer screening. In addition, women will be encouraged to discuss the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which is recommended for girls ages 11-12 and females ages 13-26, with their health care providers.

HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States and most cases of cervical cancer are associated with previous HPV infection.

Independence Blue Cross is providing this important reminder to members because research shows that receiving the three-shot HPV vaccine and recommended cervical cancer Pap test screening can decrease the chance of developing cervical cancer(2).

However, it is important to note that even if a woman has had the HPV vaccine, she will continue to require regular cervical cancer screening by the Pap test and the HPV test when recommended(2).

"Our goal is to help keep our members healthy today, tomorrow, and well into the future," Says Dr. Esther Nash, senior medical director of Population Health and Wellness at Independence Blue Cross. "Prevention is a key.

Providing important reminders about health screenings and vaccinations, wellness education, and increasing members' awareness of consumer tools and resources available to them are just some of the ways we're helping to keep our members feeling great in '08 and beyond."

Source : Blue Cross
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