LANSING — The Michigan House of Representatives passed State Representative Sarah Roberts’ (D-St. Clair Shores) House resolution, HR 202, declaring January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. The goal of the special month is to help educate Michiganders about early detection, prevention, risk factors and early warning symptoms of the disease, which will help save lives. Cervical cancer is the second-leading cancer among women worldwide.

“If diagnosed and treated early, cervical cancer is almost 100 percent curable, so we need to make sure that we educate women and their families so that we can win that battle against this kind of cancer,” said Roberts.

In the United States, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that about 12,900 cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed and more than 4,100 women will die from cervical cancer every year. In 2015, 350 Michigan women were diagnosed with cervical cancer. Virtually all the cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papilloma viruses (HPV). It is one of the most successfully treatable cancers, with the high incidence of death due mainly to the lack of access to health care and early detection procedures available to women.

“Regular Pap tests and the HPV vaccination are critical to saving women’s lives and decreasing the incidents of cervical cancer,” said Roberts. “We have to talk about this with our mothers, sisters, daughters — all the women in our lives — and then make sure that they have access to health care, tests, treatment and the HPV vaccination. I’m pleased that my House colleagues approved my resolution declaring January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, but this is just the beginning of the work we need to do to spread the word and save lives.”