Health Congregational Nursing Ministry
The Health-Congregational Nursing Ministry of FMBC promotes good health by providing information and education on good nutrition, proper exercise, rest, and health related activities. Congregational Nursing consists of registered (RN) and licensed practitioner nurses (LPN) who share their skills in promoting holistic health and ministry.
The National Cervical Cancer Coalition recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month in January — a time to raise awareness about cervical cancer, HPV disease, and the importance of getting screened.
A major concern in this area of human health is cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is well-known to be connected with this cancer. HPV infection very likely plays a role in the development of more than 90% of cervical cancers. Of the > 100 strains of HPV, ~ 40 strains infect the genital tract, and just two of these HPV strains appear to be responsible for about 70% of cervical cancers. Most HPV infections cause benign skin growth (e.g. common warts) that usually resolve over time; only a few sometimes lead to cancer.
Cervical cancer was once a leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Today, screening and prevention have greatly reduced the impact of this form of cancer. Still, nearly 14,500 women in the United States received a diagnosis of cervical cancer and more than 4,200 died from the disease last year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
In the United States in 2019, 1,752,735 new cancer cases were reported and 599,589 people died of cancer. For every 100,000 people, 439 new cancer cases were reported and 146 people died of cancer. 2019 is the latest year for which incidence data are available.
The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical cancers. HPV can also cause other kinds of cancer in both men and women.
HPV vaccination is recommended for preteens aged 11 to 12 years, but can be given starting at age 9.
HPV vaccine also is recommended for everyone through age 26 years, if they are not vaccinated already.
HPV vaccination is not recommended for everyone older than age 26 years. However, some adults age 27 through 45 years who are not already vaccinated may decide to get the HPV vaccine after speaking with their doctor about their risk for new HPV infections and the possible benefits of vaccination. HPV vaccination in this age range provides less benefit, as more people have already been exposed to HPV.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three vaccines – Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix – that prevent infection with certain subtypes of HPV including 16 and 18, two high-risk HPVs that cause some 70 percent of cervical cancers.
HPV vaccination prevents new HPV infections, but does not treat existing infections or diseases. This is why the HPV vaccine works best when given before any exposure to HPV.
It is recommended to get screened for cervical cancer regularly, even if you received an HPV vaccine.
Additional information about cervical cancer can be found at:
Dr. Audrey Kizzie Health Congregational Nursing Ministry Coordinator