January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Photo from Longmont Public Media Video of Longmont City Council

“More than 13,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and more than 4,000 of women will die. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer for women worldwide, but because it develops over time, it is also one of the most preventable types of cancer,” states the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.

These are alarming statistics. Tracy Jimenez of Cervivor, agrees and is working locally to help educate women on the causes of cervical cancer and how to prevent it. Jimenez is a cervical cancer survivor like all the women who become advocates of Cervivor.org.

Cervivor.org is a community, a learning tool, an advocacy resource, and an online retreat for healing, connecting and thriving.

These women have been through the trenches and have come out on the other side. They now seek to find ways to educate and empower other women to get frequent health checks and vaccinations.

Cervical cancer is usually caused by HPV (Human papillomavirus). According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, “HPV is estimated to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. In fact, by age 50 approximately 80% of women have been infected with some type of HPV.”

Some of the symptoms of cervical cancer could include:

  • Abnormal bleeding, such as
    • Bleeding between regular menstrual periods
    • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
    • Bleeding after douching
    • Bleeding after a pelvic exam
    • Bleeding after menopause
  • Pelvic pain not related to your menstrual cycle
  • Heavy or unusual discharge that may be watery, thick, and possibly have a foul odor
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Pain during urination

Jimenez remarked that she had no idea that cervical cancer was caused by HPV until her diagnosis. She said that she was fortunate to have caught it when she did and that she was able to beat the cancer. Not all women are as lucky. Cervivor.org and the women who have dedicated themselves to its message, encourage women to visit a health care professional if they are experiencing symptoms or have concerns.

HPV tests and Pap tests are the most common ways of detecting the cancer and women are encouraged to seek out these tests regularly.

On Tuesday, January 15, 2020, Longmont City Council designated January 2020 as “Cervical Cancer Awareness Month” in Longmont, Colorado.

Jimenez was present to claim the proclamation. She thanked Longmont City Council for helping her and other survivors spread the word about how to prevent the cancer.

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