Press Release: National Cervical Cancer Public Education Campaign Announces New Initiative to Help Women Prevent Cervical Cancer

Women Urged to Take the Pledge to Prevent Cervical Cancer During January, Cervical Cancer Screening Month

Washington, D.C. (January 19, 2005)—To mark January 2005 as the fifth annual Cervical Cancer Screening Month, the National Cervical Cancer Public Education Campaign today urged women to help prevent cervical cancer by participating in a new program called “Take the Pledge.”

As part of the “Take the Pledge” effort, women are encouraged to pledge to do their part to prevent cervical cancer by scheduling an annual gynecologic exam. Individual pledges are collected via the National Cervical Cancer Public Education Campaign’s Web site (www.cervicalcancercampaign.org) or on pledge cards. Women who take the pledge can also opt to receive an annual reminder to schedule an annual exam.

“During January, Cervical Cancer Screening Month, it is critical that women take time to learn about cervical cancer and understand that this disease is preventable,” said Karl C. Podratz, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, the Campaign’s lead partner. “With cervical cancer, women hold their destinies in their own hands. Women who take the pledge are therefore making a promise to protect their health by getting an annual exam and asking their doctor about cervical cancer screening.”

Last year in the United States, approximately 10,520 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer and an estimated 3,900 women died from the disease. The National Cervical Cancer Public Education Campaign, which includes 31 partner organizations, works towards the goal of improved screening and early detection of cervical cancer, which will result in a major reduction in the incidence and mortality from cervical cancer among women, especially the unscreened and the underserved.

The Campaign also partners with a core group of women’s, health and cancer organizations, to develop and disseminate information to women throughout the U.S. about cervical cancer and available detection methods. Campaign partners include:

America Online
American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society-South Atlantic Division
American College of Nurse-Midwives
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Medical Women’s Association, Founding Lead Partner
American Social Health Association
American Society for Cytotechnology
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Business and Professional Women
Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation of America
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, Lead Partner
National Alliance for Hispanic Health
National Asian Women’s Health Organization
National Black Nurses Association
National Cancer Institute
National Cervical Cancer Coalition
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
National Council of La Raza
National Education Association Health Information Network
National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association
Native WEB
Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Society of Gynecologic Nurse Oncologists
Society of Gynecologic Oncologists
Society for Women’s Health Research
Women In Government
YWCA of the USA

More information about the Campaign and the “Take the Pledge” effort can be found online at www.cervicalcancercampaign.org. The Women’s Cancer Network (www.wcn.org) also provides information about cervical cancer, and offers a free, confidential risk assessment tool on the site. Additionally, women may call the toll-free GCF Information Hotline at 1.800.444.4441 for a referral to a gynecologic oncologist or a related specialist.

Spotlight

This special section in Self Magazine features a GYN surgeon and 34-year-old (at the time of diagnosis) patient.

Awareness

This year’s National Race to End Women’s Cancer aims to spread the word that all women should Love Your Ladyparts! Check out site’s new features and join the MOVEMENT.

Research

The Foundation’s research award winners will be notified in January. Thank you to all who sent in their applications.

Education

The next Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Course will be February 7-8 in Anchorage, Alaska. For more information on educational events and courses, click here.