LaSalle County health officials urge cervical cancer screening
The LaSalle County Health Department encourages all women over age 21 to enhance prevention and early detection by obtaining regular screenings from their health care practitioners.
By getting an annual Pap smear — the standard procedure for gynecological health — women can increase their chances of an overall positive outcome as well as specifically equip themselves and their doctors to be able to better address and overcome cancers of the reproductive system through early diagnosis.
For LaSalle and Grundy county residents with high deductibles or no health insurance, the LaSalle County Health Department offers a program to cover the cost of a Pap smear for women ages 35-64.
“We invite and encourage anyone who needs more information on cervical cancer and the importance of Pap Smear tests, the IBCCP program, or the cervical cancer vaccines to contact the Health Department at 815-433-3366 or visit our website at www.lasallecounty.org/hd,” the department said.
The American Cancer Society estimates that of all U.S. women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, between 60 and 80 percent have not had a Pap smear within five years or have never had one at all. Cervical cancer ranks among the most common types of cancer internationally, but it is also highly preventable and treatable when detected early.
“The goal is to eradicate cervical cancer in Illinois by women taking charge and getting screened,” the LaSalle County Health Department said in a recent news release, adding that research has revealed that such practices as exercise, a healthy diet, regular screenings and obtaining a cervical cancer vaccine to prevent Human Papilloma Virus lowers a woman’s risk of contracting cervical cancer.