Tag Archives: HPV

Confronting The Myths Surrounding Cervical Cancer

More than 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer each year, and more than half of these cases occur in women who have never been screened or who haven’t been screened in the past five years. Spreading the facts and debunking these and other myths is important. Please help spread the word during January for National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and throughout the year.

Myth #1: I don’t need to get screened because cervical cancer doesn’t run in my family.

MythBuster: Most cervical cancers are caused by certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is spread by skin contact during vaginal, oral, or anal sex with someone who has the virus. HPV is so common that almost every sexually active person will get it at some time in their life if they have not had the HPV vaccine. Although HPV is very common, few men and women will go on to develop cancer. The lack of a family history of cervical cancer is not a predictor of cervical cancer and is not a reason to skip screening.

Myth #2: I don’t need to get screened because I don’t have any symptoms.

MythBuster: A screening test is done to find anything abnormal in otherwise healthy people who are not having any symptoms. When there are symptoms, a diagnostic test is done to find out the cause of the symptoms. Women with abnormal cervical cells aren’t likely to experience any symptoms. But abnormal cells can still be detected by screening. Women should not wait for symptoms to get screened. However, if you have any unexplained bleeding, don’t wait. See a doctor right away to find out why.

Myth #3: I don’t want to get screened because if I have cervical cancer it can’t be treated anyway.

MythBuster: Screening helps prevent cervical cancer. Screening finds abnormal cells on the cervix so they can be treated before they turn into cancer. It also helps find cervical cancer early, when treatment works best. Women who don’t get screened regularly miss the opportunity to detect abnormal cervical tissue early, when treatment is very effective.

Cervical cancer is preventable by screening and treating any abnormal cervical tissue early. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends:

  • Screening with a Papanicoloau (Pap) test every three years for women aged 21 to 65 years.
  • Screening with a Pap and HPV test every five years for women aged 30 to 65 years.

Learn more about cervical cancer and other gynecologic cancers, and get resources to share from DHEC’s Best Chance Network and  CDC’s Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts About Gynecologic Cancer campaign.

DHEC in the News: HPV, flu, critical need for more emergency medical professionals

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

This virus causes 31,500 cancers annually but few complete the vaccine to prevent it

Vaccination rates against HPV remain low in South Carolina, according to the national Blue Cross Blue Shield association, despite a wide acceptance by doctors as a key in preventing cervical and other types of cancer.

Gardasil had been administered in three doses until 2016, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended two doses of the same vaccine for adolescents. The Blue Cross study examined the percentage of children who got the first dose by the time they were 10 and the percentage who had gotten the final dose three years later.

Urgent care chain expanding as flu cases spike

As flu cases and related deaths continue to increase in South Carolina ahead of the peak flu season, urgent care facilities like American Family Care are rapidly expanding and opening more clinics in the Upstate.

American Family Care opened its newest location on Friday in Boiling Springs to help meet the surge in patients dealing with the flu or flu-like symptoms.

Fire chief: Critical need for medic professionals in York Co.

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — A local fire chief is speaking out about the lack of medical resources in the area.

City of York Fire Chief Domenic Manera tells NBC Charlotte his firefighters are also licensed EMTs, because the closest hospital is more than 20 minutes away. …

Chief Manera says there is a critical need for medic professionals in the western York County.

SC Gaining Traction on Preteen Vaccinations

By Jamie Shuster

Preteen VaccinationsThe CDC just released the results of their National Immunization Survey-Teen and there is good news for South Carolina students. The percentage of young people ages 13-17 who received a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine rose from 64.9% to 71.9% between 2012 and 2013. During this same time period, meningococcal coverage also rose from 58.5% to 68.7%.

But the biggest gain came in HPV coverage. South Carolina saw an 18.5% increase in females who received one or more doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine between 2012 and 2013, jumping from 41.9% to 60.4% and prompting national recognition from the CDC for our impressive increase in coverage rates.

So how did we achieve this success? Continue reading