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The original item was published from 1/7/2019 11:45:58 AM to 2/1/2019 12:00:01 AM.

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Public Health

Posted on: January 7, 2019

[ARCHIVED] January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month

Pap and HPV testing-1-2019

PaP tests are one of the most reliable and effective screening tests available to detect cervical cell abnormalities that can lead to cancer. Women need their first PaP test at age 21 and a HPV test at age 30.  Depending on the results, your doctor will talk to you about how often these screening tests will need to be done. Early detection can save lives. HPV is a virus that is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is passed on from one person to another through any type of intimate contact, including kissing. HPV is so common that almost everyone will be infected at some point in their lives.  Although most HPV infections clear on their own, some persistent infections can lead to cancer in both men and women. 

HPV vaccines are available to help prevent HPV infection.  The HPV vaccine is recommended for 11 and 12 year old girls and boys, but can be given as early as age 9 and through age 45.  It is recommended to be vaccinated against HPV before ever being exposed to the virus, when the best immune response is achieved. The HPV vaccine is safe and very effective. In addition, the vaccine is recommended for all males and females through the age of 45 years.  

To find out if you qualify for free or low cost screenings in New York Sate, go to:  1-866-442-CANCER or 866-442-2262

Cancer Services Program, Bureau of Chronic Disease Services, New York State Department of Health, 150 Broadway, 3rd Floor West, Albany, NY  12204,  518-474-1222, Fax- 518-473--642

To learn more, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and read on:  

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