PNS Daily Newscast - January 21, 2019 

Could the nation’s airports be the next pressure points in the government shutdown? Also on our Monday rundown: Calls go out to improve food safety; and a new report renews calls for solutions to Detroit’s water woes.

Daily Newscasts

Texas Women Face Higher Risk of Cervical Cancer

January 26, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas women face a greater-than-average risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer. During January - Cervical Cancer Awareness Month - they're being urged to get regular screenings.

About 13,000 U.S. women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and 4,000 will die from it - even though it's one of the most treatable and preventable types of cancer. When caught early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.

The two most effective steps to take are regular pap screenings and the HPV vaccine, says Dr. Scott Spear, medical director for Planned Parenthood in Austin and Waco.

"We do recommend HPV vaccine for males and females starting at age 9 and going up to age 26. We also recommend pap smears in women when they reach the age of 21."

Latinas have the highest cervical cancer rate in the nation, which is partly why, statistically, Texas women face a higher-than-average risk. Spear says the problem is socio-economic: Low-income women tend to get less help with both prevention and disease management.

"Texas in 2007 ranked third in the nation for the incidence of cervical cancer; so both the HPV vaccine, as well as the pap smears, can help to decrease that very high incidence."

Young women, Spear says, are advised to screen for cervical cancer with pap smears every two years until they're 30, when they can start checking every three years. The HPV vaccine protects against the most common type of sexually transmitted disease, which sometimes leads to cervical cancer. The vaccine also reduces the risk of genital warts and anal cancer in males.

Spear says Planned Parenthood health centers offer low-cost prevention and treatment services, depending on income and eligibility. A tool for locating the nearest clinic can be found on the organization's web site,

Peter Malof, Public News Service - TX