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1/22/2016 - Cervical Cancer Is Preventable, Treatable With Screenings

Cervical Cancer Is Preventable, Treatable With Screenings

All women are at risk for cervical cancer


SOMERVILLE – January is Cervical Health Awareness Month! The Somerset County Board of Freeholders and the Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition (RCDC) and its partners are urging women of all income levels to take advantage of life-saving screenings and tests and to become informed about prevention and early detection options, which decrease risk for infections and cervical cancer.

The Board of Freeholders presented a proclamation at a recent freeholders’ meeting. The proclamation will be shared with local municipalities to adopt.

Cervical cancer can be detected with a simple pelvic exam and pap test. A vaccine is available to prevent cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the main cause of cervical cancer.

The public is invited to help themselves to literature about cervical cancer and HPV at either the Somerset County Administration Building, located at 20 Grove St., or the Somerset County Human Services Building, located at 27 Warren St., weekdays through the month of January, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, visit County offices will be closed Jan. 18 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Despite evidence that cervical cancer screenings save lives, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 8,000,000 U.S. women between the ages 21 and 65 have not been screened for cervical cancer in the past five years. More than half of the new cervical cancer cases occur in women who have never been screened or rarely have been screened for the disease. This statistic may be due to lack of awareness or lack of access to health care.

All women are at risk for cervical cancer, although it occurs most often in women over 30. Each year, about 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer. Cervical cancer disproportionately impacts poor women. African-American and Hispanic women have higher rates of cervical cancer than white women.

Somerset County residents can learn if they are eligible for low-cost or reduced-cost medical care, including exam screenings, tests and the HPV vaccine by calling Zufall Health in Somerville at (908) 526-2335 ext. 112 or by visiting Zufall provides a broad array of comprehensive medical and dental services that are based on a sliding-fee scale. Patients pay based on income and Medicare, and most Medicaid plans are accepted. Zufall welcomes residents regardless of their ability to pay for services rendered. It is critical for women to establish a “medical home base” and a relationship with a physician to achieve optimal health.

In Morris County, screenings and services are provided at Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at the Morristown Medical Center. Visit or call (973) 971-5952 or 1-800-328-3838 for information. In addition, the Center offers an array of educational programs on cancer-risk prevention that are open to the public.

The RCDC operates under the auspices of the Somerset County Department of Health. The RCDC is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services’ Office of Cancer Control and Prevention.

For more information on the Coalition, to become a member or learn more about available cancer resources or screening locations, dates, times and eligibility, contact RCDC Coordinator Lucille Y-Talbot at (908) 203-6077 or email

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