January 10, 2014
Free cervical cancer screenings event for uninsured women set
Free cervical cancer screenings are available to uninsured women through a program offered by the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, St. John’s Hospital and Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
The event promotes awareness and early detection of cervical cancer. January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
Women must be at least 21 years old and uninsured to be eligible for the free screening, offered from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 23 at Sangamon County Department of Public Health, 2833 South Grand Avenue East in Springfield. Register by calling 217-814-5591.
According to the American Cancer Society website, cervical cancer can usually be found early by having regular screening with a Pap test. As Pap testing became routine in this country during the past half century, pre-invasive lesions (pre-cancers) of the cervix became far more common than invasive cancer. Early detection greatly improves the chances of successful treatment and prevents any early cervical cell changes from becoming cancerous.
All women should begin cervical cancer testing (screening) at age 21. Women aged 21 to 64, should have a Pap test every 3 years, according to the ACS’s Cervical Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Worksheet for Women (www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/index). Women ages 65 and older should discuss the frequency of screening with their physician.
The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer needs through education, research, patient care and community service. Its website is www.siumed.edu/cancer.