In observance of January as Cervical Health Awareness Month, St. Mary Medical Center will host a “Pap-a-thon,” a one-day health fair providing free Pap tests and clinical breast exams to women in the community from 8 to 11 am, Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Valparaiso Health Center, 3800 St. Mary Drive in Valparaiso.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent through regular screenings. Women ages 21 and older are recommended to receive a regular Pap test, a screening that can detect precancerous changes in the cervix which may lead to cervical cancer.
“Cervical cancer death rates have drastically declined by more than 70 percent over the past 20 years, thanks to early detection and treatment resulting from regular Pap tests,” said Roxy Karnes, BSN, OCN, CCRP, CN-BN, cancer care service coordinator at St. Mary Medical Center. “The goal of the Pap-a-thon is to provide women access to these potentially life-saving screenings, especially to those with minimal or no insurance to cover testing costs.”
In addition to the examinations, women attending the Pap-a-thon will also have the opportunity to participate in free bone density screenings, body composition testing, and certified bra fittings, as well as chair massages, mini manicures, light refreshments and door prizes.
Limited appointments are available and pre-registration is required for Pap tests and clinical breast exams. To make an appointment, call 219-836-3477 or 1-866-836-3477. All other offerings are first come, first served. For more information about services at St. Mary Medical Center, visit comhs.org/stmary.