Sunday, February 18, 2007

Coalition of Labor Union Women Leading the Fight Against Cervical Cancer

Maybe you've seen the TV ads where women implore you to "Tell Someone" that cervical cancer is caused by a common virus and that you need to be screened regularly to prevent getting the disease. The Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) is reaching out to educate union women and the wives and daughters of union men about the need for screening.

The big news is that women and girls between the ages of nine and 26 now can get a vaccine to prevent the disease, says Carolyn Jacobson, director of CLUW's Cervical Cancer Prevention Works program. The cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can be detected through regular screenings before it becomes cancer. Yet, this year, health experts say, more than 10,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than 3,700 will die from it.

Jacobson says: There is no reason why union women should get cervical cancer. More than 86 percent of union members have health insurance and most health plans today cover the Pap test and the Pap and HPV test for women over 30, which is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Cancer Society.

To spread awareness of the ways to prevent cervical cancer, CLUW prepared a two-page, ready-to-use article to use in union publications or websites. The article features two union women, both cervical cancer survivors, who have created not-for-profit organizations to get the awareness and prevention message out in unique and creative ways. To download a copy of the CLUW ready-to-use article, click here .

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