In recognition of January as National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders encourages residents to familiarize themselves with information that can help prevent cervical cancer and detect the early signs of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is considered to be the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent with regular screening and follow up. A vaccine is also available to help prevent the main cause of cervical cancer, a viral infection called HPV.

An HPV infection can also cause other cancers in both women and men, in addition to cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that most often resolves itself without harm. The problem arises when the infection lingers in the body longer than usual.

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The Centers for Disease Control is deploying social media to help the public learn about HPV and cervical cancer during National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

In support of the CDC effort, Union County is using its social media accounts to relay the following messages:

Friday, January 17: An interactive self-test quiz enabling members of the public to test their knowledge of cervical cancer (see the quiz at cdc.gov/cancer/gynecologic/quiz).

Tuesday, January 21: Information on the latest screening and vaccination guidelines (see the guidelines at cdc.gov/vitalsigns/cervical-cancer.

Thursday, January 23: An animated video that explains how vaccinations for boys and girls ages 11 and 12 prevent cervical cancer (watch the video at youtube.com/watch).

Monday, January 27: A brief message from a cervical cancer survivor explaining the preventive value of vaccination (watch the message: www.youtube.com.

Friday, January 31: A chart illustrating the recommended schedule for all childhood vaccinations including HPV (see the chart: cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules).

For more information on HPV, cervical cancer, and other HPV-linked cancers impacting men as well as women, visit the Centers for Disease Control online at cdc.gov/std/hpv/facts-brochures.htm.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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