ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Doctors and health officials have set their sights on preventing cervical cancer in women.
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.
In South Georgia, public health officials want you to know that all women are at risk for cervical cancer.
Most cases are caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV.
HPV can spread through sex.
The CDC said HPV is extremely common.
Cindy Walters, with the Southwest Public Health District, said early detection is key.
“Precancerous conditions can be treated and can prevent you from having cancer," Walters said. "And what we see so often is women that have screenings and it’s abnormal, we can get them in quickly for treatment, and we can stop the process of those cells from turning into cancer.”
So what can you do to prevent cervical cancer, or catch it early?
Health experts said preventing HPV is one of the best ways to prevent cervical cancer.
Doctors encourage pre-teen girls to get the HPV vaccine and women should start getting regular pap tests at the age of 21.
For more information on how to get a pap screening at low or no cost, just contact your county health department.