The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is working with partners to educate Hoosiers about prevention of cervical cancer as part of National Cervical Health Awareness Month. Each year, an average of 264 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in Indiana and 88 cervical cancer-related deaths occur among Indiana women.
“Cervical cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable, yet every year, Indiana women die from this terrible disease,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “By partnering with key leaders from all corners of our state, we can work together to reduce the number of cases of cervical cancer and save lives.”
In 2018, the Indiana General Assembly charged ISDH with identifying methods to increase the number of Hoosiers vaccinated for HPV, increasing regular cervical cancer screenings and creating partnerships throughout the state to reduce the number of cases of cervical cancer. As a result, a statewide working group consisting of government agencies, educational institutions, medical providers, advocates and survivors created the Indiana Cervical Cancer Strategic Plan, a 10-year plan intended to serve as a comprehensive roadmap to address cervical cancer in Indiana. The plan has four focus areas: primary prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship.
The human papillomavirus is the single greatest risk factor for cervical cancer, which is almost completely preventable through regular routine screening, avoiding tobacco products, and obtaining the HPV vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians, all boys and girls ages 11 or 12 should be vaccinated against it.
The strategic plan can be found on ISDH’s website at https://www.in.gov/isdh/22689.htm.
For more information on cervical cancer, risk factors and prevention, visit the Indiana Cancer Consortium (ICC) at: http://indianacancer.org/ cervical_cancer_toolkit/.
Visit ISDH at www.in.gov/isdh for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.