June 21, 2018

New cervical cancer prevention and screening effort set

focus group image

Focus groups are part of our work to increase cervical cancer screenings among our patients.

Heartland Health Centers is rolling out a cervical cancer prevention and screening campaign this year.

Caught early, cervical cancer is highly treatable, but often has no early symptoms. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends regular screening for cervical cancer in women age 21 to 65.

The campaign, which got under way earlier this year, seeks to get more patients screened. As part of the effort, providers will educate patients and community members about the risk factors for cervical cancer, the importance of regular screening through Pap tests, and the opportunity to vaccinate teens against human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common root cause of cervical cancer.

Staff are conducting focus groups with patients and community members in partnership with local organizations Centro Romero and the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society. Focus group participants are assessing women’s knowledge about cervical cancer and identifying barriers to screening and prevention in the communities we serve.

A presentation on cervical cancer by Nurse Practitioner Diana Fabian provided education for the groups. She felt they left more motivated to seek out screening and get their daughters vaccinated against HPV.