Cervical Cancer: Preventable, but Killing Black Women

Here's what you can do about it during National Women's Health Week.

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The bad news: Though cervical cancer can be prevented, many women don't get the screening that could save their lives. Twelve thousand women still get cervical cancer every year, and black women are way overrepresented in this number.

The good news: We know its cause (HPV), and we know how to prevent it.

Heart & Soul magazine talked to Tamika Felder, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 25 and underwent a radical hysterectomy. Now 10 years cancer-free, she's an advocate for the prevention of cervical cancer, and her Tamika & Friends, Inc. Gift of Giving Program aids women who have fallen on financial hardship following treatment.

Felder shared some of the hard facts about cervical cancer and black women:

Black women develop cervical cancer 50% more often than non-Hispanic White women.

Black women tend to have poorer, 5-year survival rates and die more often of cervical cancer than any other race.

Of the number of Black women diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, over 40% will die.

Getting tested for HPV and knowing your cervical cancer status might not be the most festive celebration of National Women’s Health Week, but it could be a lifesaving one. Spread the word.

Read more at Heart & Soul.