January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month


cervical cancer awareness month

Cervical cancer was once a leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Today, screening and prevention have greatly reduced the impact of this form of cancer. Still, approximately 13,960 women in the United States are projected to receive a diagnosis of cervical cancer in 2023 and approximately 4,310 will die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Increasing screening and prevention are key components of the effort to eradicate cervical cancer. Since almost all cases of the disease are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, vaccines that protect against the virus could prevent the vast majority of cases. Moreover, regular Pap tests can catch – and lead to the treatment of – the disease at the precancerous stage. 

Cervical cancer is among a number of cancers that can be caused by infections with pathogens – bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

the latest on cervical cancer

The AACR blog, Cancer Research Catalyst, rounded up developments in cervical cancer in an item published in January 2023: Cervical Cancer: A Cautionary Tale of Optimism and Challenges.

A study published in the AACR’s journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found women 65 and older who were diagnosed with cervical cancer were more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than younger women with the disease. Read more in Cancer Today magazine: Cervical Cancer Found at Later Stages After 65.

In the United States, where regular cervical cancer screening is common, the disease is usually caught and treated in the precancer stage. But iin low-income countries, where screening is sporadic, cervical cancer is often unchecked until it has progressed to an advanced stage. Read more in Cancer Today: Cervical Cancer: A Global Challenge,

Black and Hispanic women and low-income and rural populations are especially vulnerable to cervical cancer. Read more in Cancer Today: Disparities in Cervical Cancer.

What the AACR Is Doing in The Area of cervical cancer research

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is currently supporting three scientific grants in this area, two under the Beginning Investigator Grant for Catalytic Research (BIG Cat) Initiative and one through the Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers Career Development Award, in Partnership with Pelotonia & AACR. Researchers are studying evolving genetic factors for cervical cancer in women of African ancestry, epigenetic biomarkers of anal HPV infection in women with cervical HPV, and the feasibility of adjuvant topical therapy for cervical precancer treatment.

For more information

Please see our page on cervical cancer, including information on prevention, screening, and treatment: Cervical Cancer