USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute has launched a statewide campaign called “GO Teal and White” to raise awareness about how to prevent cervical cancer, which is killing more women in Alabama and Mississippi than in any other state in the nation. The campaign is joined by eight other organizations from across Alabama and will run throughout January, Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
“The goal is to get the word out that we can prevent cervical cancer and save lives through vaccination, pap tests and follow-up testing,” said Jennifer Young Pierce, M.D., lead of Cancer Control and Prevention and a professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology at the Mitchell Cancer Institute.
The campaign calls on businesses, nonprofit organizations and supporters to hang GO Teal and White posters during the month of January and to wear teal and white on Friday, Jan. 17. The RSA Tower in Mobile will be lit in teal and white on Saturday, Jan. 18.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Alabama and Mississippi tied for the worst death rates from cervical cancer in the nation over a five-year period.
Joining the Mitchell Cancer Institute for the GO Teal and White campaign are the American Cancer Society, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lilies of the Valley, Alabama Public Health, the Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition, the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation, Human Rights Watch and the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics..
The Mitchell Cancer Institute offers the following recommendations to prevent cervical cancer:
- Get screened. A Pap test is recommended every three to five years for women ages 21 to 64. An HPV (human papillomavirus) test is recommended starting at age 30.
- Follow up with your physician on any abnormal screening results.
- Vaccinate adolescent boys and girls, ideally between the ages of 11 and 12, against HPV, which causes cervical cancer.