Fundraising for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month was first established by the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) in 1996. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to educating and informing at risk women and their parents about cervical cancer and the HPV disease.

What exactly are Cervical Cancer and HPV?

Human papillomaviruses (or HPVs) are a collection of approximately 100 related sexually transmitted viruses. Papillomaviruses appear as microscopic warts, or papillomas (these are benign noncancerous tumors) that pass through tiny cuts in the skin. Sexually active women and men can be exposed to genital HPV via vaginal, oral or anal sex; however intercourse is not always necessary in order to contract HPV.

Factors for HPV are not completely know, but they are expected to be unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, smoking; weak immune health, poor nutrition, lack of vitamins A, B foliate and C, and prior exposure to another sexually transmitted disease such as Chlamydia. An otherwise strong body with a strong immune system can fight off HPV on it’s own over a 1 to 2 year period.

As mentioned, HPV infections generally occur without any symptoms and go away without any treatment in a couple of years, but if an HPV infection persists without treatment, cell abnormalities can occur, increasing a woman’s risk of cervical cancer and a man’s risk of other genital cancers (penile and rectal). Most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it. That’s why awareness is the key…

Did you know?

  • An HPV vaccine can now protect girls and young women from the four types of HPV most prevalent to causing cervical cancer and genital warts. The vaccine is recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls and women age 13 through 26.
  • Gay and bisexual men, and individuals who have HIV or AIDS are at higher risk of contracting HPV.
  • A Pap test can sometimes detect the presence of the HPV virus, but a separate HPV test (HCII) is required if abnormalities are found.
  • The HPV test is available in Canada, but not everywhere in the world.
  • A woman who does not have her three shot HPV vaccine and her regular Pap test will significantly increase her chances of developing cervical cancer.

The statistics…

  • Approximately 20 million young women, men and girls in the U.S. are currently infected with HPV.
  • An additional 6.2 million people are infected each year.
  • An estimated 1% of sexually active American adults have contracted genital warts.
  • 11% of United States women do not go for annual Pap tests.
  • About 3,700 women die from cervical cancer in year in the U.S.
  • Cases of yearly cervical cancer diagnosis are estimated at 473,000 cases worldwide.
  • Deaths from cervical cancer are estimated at 253,500 worldwide.

How can you help?

During the month of January, help spread the knowledge when it comes to the HPV disease, cervical cancer and the importance of early detection. You can do more than you think by:

  • Sharing personal stories as a woman or family member if you have firsthand knowledge of a battle with HPV or cervical cancer.
  • You can educate teens on recent HPV research, prevention, detection and treatment options.
  • You can highlight local HPV testing and treatment facilities in your area.
  • You can invite a HPV or cervical cancer survivor into your local schools and youth groups to talk to teens.
  • Spread the word by contacting the local media to alert them to the dates of Cervical Health Awareness Month.
  • You can make the NCCC’s cervical cancer/HPV press release, general statistics and literature on HPV and cervical cancer available to the public in your company, health clinic or school.
  • Write a human interest editorial for your local paper about cancer survivors in your community.
  • Organize a local event to raise awareness and money for cervical cancer and HPV research—get the word out by alerting your print, TV and radio media.

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