For Cervical Health Awareness Month, the state health department encourages women ages 21 to 74 to start the year by talking with their healthcare providers about scheduling a Pap test. A special program will be presenting information on the human papilloma virus (HPV) at a Lunch & Learn, to be held at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (HRRMC) at noon on Jan. 15 by Dr. Tiffany Rhodes, a gynecologist at HRRMC.  HPV is linked to cervical cancer, and Dr. Rhodes will share how the two are related and how HPV can be prevented.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

Every year in the United States, approximately 13,170 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment ( CDPHE). A Pap test is the first line of defense against cervical cancer; finding cervical cancer early is critical.

“When you find out can be just as important as what you find out,” said HRRMC Foundation Director Kimla Robinson. “When cervical cancer is detected early, more than 92 percent of women have a five-year survival rate. Cervical cancer usually doesn’t have any signs or symptoms, so a routine Pap test will tell you if you have a problem.”

CDPHE Interim Chief Medical Officer Dan Shodell, M.D., said, “Cervical Health Awareness Month is the perfect time to remind women that these tests could be the difference between life and death. Women’s Wellness Connection offers free screenings. We can help women stay cancer free…”

The Women’s Wellness Connection offers free cervical cancer screenings and any necessary follow-up testing to Colorado women. The program offers free cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to women ages 21 through 64, who have little or no health insurance and meet income requirements.

To be eligible for services through the Women’s Wellness Connection, women must earn less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level and have no health insurance or have health insurance with high deductibles or co-pays.

For more information about the presentation at the HRRMC or The Women’s Wellness Connection, contact Brenda at 719-207-2088 or ccbrenda.gentile@hrrmc.net.