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PNS Daily Newscast - April 3, 2020 


Son-in-law Jared Kushner takes on a major role in Trump's fight with COVID-19. Also, emergency funding for people who can't pay their rent because of the pandemic.

2020Talks - April 3, 2020 


The Democratic National Committee delayed its July convention in Milwaukee until August. Wisconsin has a primary this Tuesday, but hasn't cancelled or delayed in-person voting like many other states have done.

Celebrating Big Strides in Preventing Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer rates have decreased dramatically, although about 12,000 women still are diagnosed with the disease each year in the U.S. (Orawan/Adobe Stock)
Cervical cancer rates have decreased dramatically, although about 12,000 women still are diagnosed with the disease each year in the U.S. (Orawan/Adobe Stock)
January 31, 2020

BELLEVUE, Wash. - January has been Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and this year, the focus is on some good news - health professionals are highlighting a largely successful campaign against the disease.

Obstetrician/Gynecologist Dr. Mary Beth Welch at Kaiser Permanente in Bellevue says cervical cancer rates have decreased by 75% over the past 50 years in developed countries. She says doctors have developed an effective process for detecting and treating this type of cancer.

"We really attribute that due to widespread cervical screening tests that we have, such as the pap smear, and that helps us identify pre-cancerous changes that can be treated before cancer develops," says Welch.

Welch recommends parents speak to their health-care providers about vaccines for the human papilloma or HPV virus - for both girls and boys - at age 11 or 12. Certain types of HPV can cause cervical cancer.

She adds women should get regular cervical cancer screenings starting at age 21.

In 2018 the Food and Drug Administration approved the HPV vaccine Gardasil for women and men up to age 45 . Previously, it had been approved only up to age 26, and the FDA says it's still most effective before age 26.

The Centers for Disease Control notes about 12,000 women are diagnosed each year with cervical cancer caused by certain HPV strains, and it is fatal for four-thousand a year.

Welch says it's important to feel comfortable speaking with a doctor about potential symptoms.

"Things like abnormal period is something that we're very familiar with and we see commonly in our office," says Welch. "So we say, 'Come and see us! This is what we train for, and we're here to take care of you and give you the best care possible.'"

Welch adds that women may not have any symptoms at all, which makes regular screening so important for catching this form of cancer.

Disclosure: Kaiser Health Plan of Washington Project contributes to our fund for reporting on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA