According to the American Cancer Society, 94,990 new cases of gynecologic cancers will be diagnosed in 2014, resulting in approximately 28,790 deaths. That is why it is important for womento take care of their health, not just in September, but every day of the year.
Gynecologic cancers include cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine/endometrial cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer. Uterine cancer is the most common (more than 52,500 new cases per year), while ovarian cancer is the deadliest due to late stage diagnosis.
Cervical cancer is almost totally preventable given the availability of a vaccine for both boys and girls, and a wide-spread primary screening program using both the Pap test and HPV test (HPV is the cause of almost all cervical cancer).
There are specific steps that women can take to reduce their risks and even prevent these cancers. More than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by staying at a healthy weight, eating right, keeping active, and getting recommended screening tests.
The Fargo Cass Public Health Clinic offers physical examinations for women including: pelvic exams, pap smears, urinalysis, and blood work. Fees are based on a sliding fee scale. Women age 40-64 may qualify for Women’s Way which may help pay for cervical and pelvic exams.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Fargo Cass Public Health at 701-241-1383.