Coalition of Labor Union Women
  • CLUW's Cervical Cancer Awareness Program
    Jul 10, 2014

    Preventing Cervical Cancer: What you need to know

    The Coalition of Labor Union Women participated in a July 14, 2009 briefing on cervical cancer prevention, the second of two events focusing on sexually transmitted infections hosted by the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO), the American Social Health Association, and the National Partnership for Women and Families. Funded by a grant from HHS, Office of Women's Health, the briefings' primary audience was NCWO member organizations (CLUW being one) — particularly those able to get this information out to young women of color.

    The event was moderated by Marilyn Keefe of the National Partnership for Women & Families, and Carolyn Jacobson, Director of Cervical Cancer Prevention Works, Coalition of Labor Union.


    Download the following speakers' slide presentations:

    Cervical Cancer Prevention Works (CCPW) is the name of CLUW's cervical cancer awareness project. The project's mission is to empower union women by providing them with information on how to prevent this deadly disease. CLUW's CCPW is funded by Qiagen, one of the companies which makes an FDA-approved test for HPV (the virus that causes 96 percent of cervical cancer cases).

    For further information, contact:
    Carolyn J. Jacobson, Director, Cervical Cancer Prevention Works

    HPV vaccines are now available for girls and women ages 9-26. Although the vaccines will help prevent many HPV infections, screening will still be needed to prevent cervical cancer.
    See: HPV Vaccine:  What You Need to Know

    View CDC podcast to help find out more about the two HPV vaccines that are available and why boys should consider getting the vaccine.

    CLUW's commitment to eliminating Cervical Cancer

    No woman should suffer or die from cervical cancer. Get screened today!

    In April 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new screening test to help determine which women age 30 and over are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer. This screening method uses a DNA test to detect human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, in combination with a Pap test. The DNA test identifies the 13 types of HPV most commonly associated with cervical cancer.

    At its March 2003 National Executive Board meeting, CLUW adopted a resolution of support of FDA approval of annual HPV screening for all women 30 and over. CLUW urges all unions to:

    • Cover all FDA-approved HPV testing, as recommended by the American Cancer Society.
    • Cover annual office visits with obstetrician or gynecologist for counseling on contraception, sexually transmitted infections, breast and other cancer screening, and, as deemed appropriate by the clinician, cervical cancer screening.
    • Protect patient confidentiality.

    In addition to its own new cervical cancer awareness program -- Cervical Cancer Prevention Works -- CLUW is actively working with public education programs to get this information out.

    Protect yourself against cervical cancer!

    • Age 9-26:
      Ask your provider about the HPV vaccine
    • By age 21:
      Get a Pap test
    • Age 30 and up:
      Ask your provider for an HPV test along with your Pap
    • Cervical cancer is one of the few types of cancers that can be prevented through vaccination and regular screening
    • Your health care provider can determine if you have harmful cell changes in your cervix that can be treated before they develop into cervical cancer
    • Find out if you carry the virus that puts you at increased risk of developing cervical cancer

    Facts About Cervical Cancer and HPV

    Quick Facts about Cervical Cancer and HPV

    • Cervical cancer is highly preventable through regular screening.
    • Cervical cancer is almost always caused by a common virus: human papillomavirus (HPV).
    • Most women will have HPV at some point in their lives, but few will develop cervical cancer. In fact, most women who get HPV will get rid of the virus through their body's normal healing process.
    • Only HPV infection that persists for several years can put a woman at risk for cervical cancer.
    • Screening for cervical cancer can be done by your health care provider using just a Pap test if you're younger than 30 or a Pap and HPV test if you're 30 or older.
    • A Pap test looks for cell changes in the cervix that might lead to cancer. The HPV test looks for the virus that causes cervical cancer. When used together, the Pap and HPV test can better identify women needing early intervention to prevent cervical cancer.
    • The HPV test is now approved by the FDA for regular screening in women age 30 and older.
    • Women should ask their healthcare providers for the test that best meets their screening needs.
    • In addition, an HPV vaccine is now available for girls and women ages 9-26. Although the vaccine will help prevent many HPV infections, screening will still be needed to prevent cervical cancer.

    How do I get screened?

    Because cervical cancer is almost always caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), the best way to protect yourself from cervical cancer is to get screened by your healthcare provider.

    There are two types of tests that can be used:

    1. Pap Test (also known as Pap Smear): A Pap test looks for cell changes in your cervix that may lead to Cervical Cancer. Liquid-based Pap Tests are better at finding early cell changes than the traditional Pap Smear.

    2. HPV Test: Used to find out if you have HPV, an HPV Test can let you and your health care provider know your risk of developing Cervical Cancer. An HPV Test can be used with a Pap Test in women 30 and older or as a follow-up to inconclusive Pap Test results in women under 30.

    More about the HPV Test

    How do I know which test I need?

    If you are younger than 30, get regular Pap Tests starting at age 21 or 3 years after you first have sex (whichever comes first). If you are 30 or older, you should ask for an HPV Test along with your Pap test.

    Does my insurance cover the HPV test?

    HPV Testing is covered by the majority of regional and national insurance plans. Currently more than 200 million Americans have access to HPV Testing, including participants in 46 state Medicaid programs and the District of Columbia.

    For specific information about your benefits, check with the Member Services department of your health plan before asking for the test.

    If you have insurance-related questions before or after the HPV Test call the HPV Patient Help Hotline toll-free at 1-866-895-1HPV 866.895.1478.

    What should older women know?

    What older women should know about cervical cancer prevention

    Key facts about cervical cancer, HPV testing and older women

  • October 22, 2019
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