January ushers in a New Year and is also Cervical Health Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, Cervical Cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer but still takes thousands of women’s lives every year. Early vaccination for Human Papillomavirus Infection (HPV) and regular screening can help prevent cervical cancer and limit the adverse outcomes of the disease.
Neighborhood’s 2019 Healthcare Effectiveness Data Information Set (HEDIS) rate for the Cervical Cancer Screening measure stood at 74.21% and ranked in the Medicaid Quality Compass (QC) 90th percentile. HPV rates have trended downward falling at 48.91% in CY 2019 compared to 50.98% in CY 2018.
How can you help?
The American Cancer Society recommends the following guidelines to prevent cervical cancer and to help detect cervical cancer earlier:
- Cervical Cancer screening should begin at age 25.
- Those age 25 to 65 should have a HPV test every 5 years. If primary testing is not available, screening may be done with either a co-test that combines an HPV test with a Papanicolaou (Pap) test every 5 years or a Pap test alone every 3 years. If members are older than 65 years old, they may not need to be screened anymore if there was a normal screening test for several years or if cervix was removed as part of a total hysterectomy for non-cancerous conditions, like fibroids.
- HPV vaccination should start for both girls and boys at age 11 or 12 but can be given effectively as early as age 9.
For more information about preventing cervical cancer and HPV infections, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical or the American Cancer Society at http://www.cancer.org
HEDIS® is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).