January is cervical cancer awareness month - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

January is cervical cancer awareness month

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

January 9, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Southwest Health District is promoting testing and vaccines to prevent cervical cancer.

Doctors encourage girls and women between the ages of nine and 26 to get the vaccine that protects against HPV, a virus that can lead to cervical cancer. But they say the vaccine isn't a substitute for having routine cervical cancer screenings.

"That's really your key for early detection. If you find it in an earlier stage you have to prevent it from going to full blown cancer," said Linda O'Donnell, Assistant District Nursing Clinical Director.

Women should have their first Pap test within three years of becoming sexually active but no later than age 21. The Southwest Health District has information on how you can get tested on their website.

You can find a link to their website at www.southwestgerogiapublichealth.org.

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