News & Media

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

Friday, January 4, 2019

During Cervical Health Awareness Month, act on cancer prevention for you and your children.

The Pap test is a simple and affordable screening test to detect cervical cancer in women -- still, most cervical cancer deaths are seen in women who have either never had a Pap test, or have not had testing in more than five years. Women should begin screening for cervical cancer at age 21. Talk with your health care provider about your screening options and stay current on cervical cancer screening.

Women's preventive health care -- such as screenings for cervical cancer, prenatal care, mammograms, immunizations, and other services -- is covered through the Healthy Michigan Plan without co-pays. Pap tests are available at Family Planning Clinics, and for women ages 21-64, Pap testing is accessible through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control and Navigation Program (BCCCNP). For more information about the BCCCNP, call 1-844-I-GOT-SCR (446-8727).

Protect your children from getting cancer with the HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccination. The HPV Vaccine prevents cervical and many other cancers in women AND men. The HPV vaccine works against cancer-causing strains of HPV. The vaccine is safe and is most effective when given at the recommended age of 11-12 years. However, it can be started at age 9 and given through age 26. Adults age 27-45 may also receive the vaccine. Everyone should receive all indicated doses of the HPV vaccination. Learn more about preventing cancer with the HPV vaccination by talking with your children's health care provider.

Vaccines for Children (VFC), Medicaid, MI-Child, and most health insurances pay for the HPV vaccine. If your child does not have health insurance, or does not have insurance that covers these vaccines, ask your health care provider or local health department about the VFC program. VFC provides no-or-low cost vaccines to eligible children, 18 years of age and younger. Find more vaccination information.