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updated: 1/22/2013 4:13 PM

January brings awareness to cervical health

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Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

Barrington, Ill.-- The second most common type of cancer in women worldwide is cervical cancer. Approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in the United States. There are two types of cervical cancer. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. The other cancer, which makes up for about 10-20% of cases, is called adenocarcinoma. Squamous cells carcinoma are located on the surface, meanwhile in the case of adenocarcinoma, the cancer starts in the gland cells that make mucus. Although adenocarcinoma is more uncommon than squamous cell carcinoma, it is more severe and on the rise in young women.

Fortunately, cervical cancer is the most preventable cancer. Since this month is National Cervical Health month it is extremely important that all women get in contact with their primary care provider for a screening. There has been a recent decline in deaths from cervical cancer because of use of Pap tests. Pap tests are able to note any cervical abnormalities along with early detection and treatment.

"The amount of time between pap smears differs between women, but if you are over 21 and have not yet had a pap smear, you are highly encouraged to," says gynecologist, Ann Warren, MD. "The only way of preventing it, is by making sure you take the first step and come in."

Most cases of cervical cancer are found in women between the ages of 35 and 55. When it's caught early enough, cervical cancer is highly treatable.

About Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

Advocate Good Shepherd in Barrington, Illinois is a 169-bed acute care hospital with more than 700 physicians representing 50 medical specialties. It is part of Advocate Health Care, named one of the Top Ten hospital systems in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters. Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital is ranked highest in Illinois for quality and patient safety according to BlueCross BlueShield and exists to serve its communities. For more about Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital: Shield's 2011 Blue Star Report™. Advocate is a faith-based organization