BOSTON – Gov. Charlie Baker has officially proclaimed January “Cervical Cancer Awareness Month” in Massachusetts. The proclamation was issued at the request of Charlestown’s Kate Weissman, a cervical cancer survivor and advocacy volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
“Over 4,000 women in the U.S. each year will die from cervical cancer, and many more – like me – have survived the disease” said Weissman. “Fortunately, cervical cancer is often preventable, and we know how to bring this number down. By declaring January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in Massachusetts, we can arm women with the awareness they need to dramatically decrease the number of people impacted by it.”
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the five-year survival rate of women diagnosed with cervical cancer is close to 75% in certain populations, due to improved treatment, early diagnosis, and vaccinations. However, cervical cancer incidence rates and death rates are still high among certain populations in the United States and across the globe, largely due to limited access to cervical cancer screening and vaccinations. According to Cervivor, an organization dedicated to informing and empowering women and their families about cervical cancer, approximately 275,000 women die from the disease worldwide each year. The majority of these deaths occur in developing countries.
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and through vaccination we can help prevent countless women from developing the disease. The HPV vaccine is proven to be effective against types of HPV that cause 90% of cervical cancers, and the results from a simple Pap test and HPV co-test can be used to help prevent cervical cancer or detect cervical cancer in its earliest and most curable stages.
“No woman has to die from cervical cancer here in Massachusetts, or anywhere,” said Weissman. “With focused resources and increased awareness, we could eliminate death from cervical cancer worldwide.”
“I thank Gov. Baker for his commitment to raising awareness of this disease. Simply put: death from cervical cancer is preventable with vaccination, screening, and treatment. As a survivor, I urge women in Massachusetts to get the necessary health screenings, educate themselves about the safety and effectiveness of the HPV vaccination for their children, and consider joining the initiative to help end this disease at the global level,” continued Weissman.
Those interested in joining ACS CAN’s campaign to end Cervical Cancer globally are encouraged to visit https://www.fightcancer.org/what-we-do/global-cervical-cancer.
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.