HPV (human papillomavirus) is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity, and it causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, but many people with HPV do not know they are infected. Vaccines that protect against infection with these types of HPV can greatly reduce the risk of cervical cancer. Having a Pap test to check for abnormal cells in the cervix or a test to check for HPV can find cells that may become cervical cancer. These cells can be treated before cancer forms.
The good news?
- The HPV vaccine (shot) can prevent HPV.
- Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.
- Women to start getting regular cervical cancer screenings at age 21
- Parents to make sure pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12
Taking small steps can help keep you safe and healthy. The Women's Cancer Control Program provides free mammograms, clinical breast exams, and pelvic exam/pap tests to low income uninsured women 40 to 64 years old who are Montgomery County residents. The program is for low income families who are uninsured. Proof of residence in Montgomery County and proof of income is requested. Online users may apply by creating a Service Request or call 240-777-1750 for more information.