Health Officials Urge Women to Get Screened for Cervical Cancer
A local nurse practitioner recommends women start getting pap smears at 21 years old
January is Cervical Cancer awareness month.
Cass County health officials say getting screened and vaccinated are the best ways to prevent cervical cancer.
Fargo Cass Public Health says each year, 12,000 women in the U.S. get cervical cancer, and 4,000 of them die.
They say 93% of those cases were preventable by screenings and HPV vaccinations.
Audrey Eckes, a nurse practitioner with Cass Public Health, recommends all women over 21 get screened.
She adds the only side effect to an HPV vaccination is fainting shortly after getting it.
“Generally, if a woman has routine screening, we can pick changes up long before there’s a cancer problem, treat those changes and prevent cancer from occurring,” said Eckes.
Planned Parenthood and Fargo Cass Public Health will help screen uninsured or under-insured women.
Patients can also enroll in the Women’s Way program to help cover costs.