Palmetto Health recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month

Posted on 1/31/2017

Palmetto Health recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month and encourages all women to speak with their physicians about the risks of developing cervical cancer, what causes it and ways to prevent it.

According to the American Cancer Society, each year in the U.S. nearly 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 die as a result. But cervical cancer is a preventable and treatable cancer, thanks to improved screening and vaccination.

“I encourage all women to be up to date on their pap smears. Cervical cancer is a completely preventable disease. Women can dramatically reduce their risk of getting cervical cancer and dying from cervical cancer by having pap smears,” said Jennifer Risinger, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist.

Cervical cancer most often results from exposure to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. A screening known as a Pap test can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops.

A few simple steps can help women take care of their cervical health:

  • Quit smoking. Women who smoke are nearly twice as likely to get cervical cancer as those who don’t.
  • Get a Pap test. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says women should start getting a Pap test at age 21. If your results are normal, check with your provider regarding frequency of Pap tests. Women older than 30 may choose to have an HPV test with their Pap test. If the results of both tests are normal, the chance of getting cervical cancer within the next few years is low, and your doctor may say you can wait five years until your next screening.
  • Getting the HPV vaccine helps protect against the two types of HPV that are known to cause cervical cancer.

For more information about Women’s Services, visit

About Palmetto Health
Palmetto Health, the largest health care system in the South Carolina Midlands region and one of the state’s largest employers, comprises more than 15,000 team members, physicians and volunteers working together to fulfill Palmetto Health’s Vision: To be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. The system includes six acute-care hospitals in the Midlands—Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital, Palmetto Health Richland and Palmetto Health Tuomey. In the South Carolina Upstate region, Palmetto Health also co-owns Baptist Easley Hospital. Recognized nationally as one of the best places to work and receive care, the system also includes the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group, the region’s largest multispecialty group, which serves as the entry point to the health care system with more than 500 providers serving patients in more than 80 practices and nearly 100 locations. Palmetto Health also is supported by two 501 (c)(3) foundations, and trains the next generation of physicians through its 24 residency and fellowship programs affiliated with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. For more information, visit or call 803-296-CARE (2273).


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