January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month – and according to reports from both the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Economic and Social Justice (SRBWI) and Human Rights Watch – Black women are dying from cervical cancer in disproportionately high numbers every year.
“We know that one of the reasons women of color are disproportionately affected by cervical cancer in the United States is often because they haven’t had a Pap test recently or ever,” said Casey Monroe, Vice President of Disease Prevention Programs at Adagio Health. “Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer and there are affordable services available through Adagio Health. Regular cervical cancer screenings are one of the best things you can do for your health.”
A Pap test, also known as a Pap smear, is a quick, painless procedure that tests for cervical cancer by collecting cells from the cervix with a small swab. Most people who receive abnormal cervical cancer screening results either have human papillomavirus (HPV) infections or have early cell changes that can be monitored or treated early to prevent the development of cervical cancer.
“Face Your Health” is a new program launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designed for African American women ages 21 to 65. The goal is to raise awareness, and to promote early screening that can lead to early detection of any cell changes or abnormalities along with better outcomes for patients.
In the next few months, Adagio Health will oversee the launch of the program in Beaver County. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in Beaver County, 6.4% of residents identify as Black or African American. The “Face Your Health” program will raise awareness and help steer eligible patients toward low or no cost cervical cancer screening services – even if they don’t have insurance. Using evidence-based interventions, “Face Your Health” encourages women to know their risks, get screened, and spread awareness throughout their communities.