About Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer often strikes women in the prime of their lives, often while they are busy building a career, raising children and making valuable contributions to their communities. However, cervical cancer is preventable through vaccination against cancer-causing strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), periodic cervical screenings, and if necessary, treatment of cervical lesions before they can develop into cancer. If adolescents and women can access these interventions, we can end cervical cancer as a public health problem.
We have two major tools to prevent cervical cancer: HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening. Also, timely follow up is critical if any abnormalities are found during screening.
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical Cancer Screening
Cervical Cancer in Alabama
Alabama has among the highest death rates from cervical cancer in the U.S., even though this is one of the few cancers that can be prevented. Cervical cancer mortality rates track nearly 50% higher in Alabama than in the rest of the country.
Promoting education and ensuring access to affordable vaccination, screening, and treatment services for adolescents and women in Alabama, and across the South, are critical for reversing the declines in screening and vaccination, and the resulting high mortality rates.
We have the tools to save lives, and eligible women and adolescents can access them at no cost in our state.
Most health insurance plans cover the costs of HPV vaccination. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program also provides vaccines for children ages 18 years and younger who are uninsured or whose health insurance does not pay for the vaccine, Medicaid-eligible children, and American Indian/Alaska Natives.
Most health insurances cover cervical cancer screening. The Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program covers screening and follow-up for women who qualify for the program.
Meet Linda, an advocate raising awareness of cervical cancer in her Alabama community.
Operation Wipe Out
Operation Wipe Out is an initiative aimed at eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem in Alabama by raising awareness about HPV and cervical cancer prevention and facilitating access to HPV vaccination, screening, follow-up, and treatment if needed. The project launched in Chambers County, Alabama in November 2021. Chambers County was chosen as a priority due to its high rate of cervical cancer disease in the state. Over time, the project plans to expand to additional counties across Alabama.
For more information on Operation Wipe Out and how you can support this initiative, see this brochure (aquí en español), or contact Dr. Heather White at TogetHER for Health at [email protected] or Dr. Isabel Scarinci at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at [email protected].
Access Cervical Cancer Prevention Services
Learn more about no-cost, available services in the State of Alabama including HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening. Call or text 205-778-8334 or click here to be connected to UAB staff who can address your questions and assist you in scheduling an appointment if needed.