The Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, has officially declared January Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. It is predicted that 590 women in Illinois will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year while 180 women will lose their life to the disease. All women are at risk for cervical cancer but it occurs most often in women over 30 years of age. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer.
With routine screening and follow up, cervical cancer is highly preventable. Early detection through routine screenings will help to increase the chances of survival. The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), which is offered at Erie Family Health Center, provides free mammograms, breast exams, pelvic exams, and Pap Tests to uninsured women. IBCCP has provided 17,908 cervical cancer screenings to uninsured women in the past fiscal year. Throughout January, public and private organizations and state and local governments throughout the country will promote education about cervical cancer causes, screenings, and treatments.