Denver (Vocus) September 4, 2009
In recognition of Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is encouraging women to visit their health care providers to receive basic, preventive cervical cancer screenings and treatments to help save their lives.
"We see firsthand at our health centers that regular checkups and preventive care are the keys to combating gynecological cancer," said Vicki Cowart, PPRM President and CEO. "As the nation moves to reform our health care system, Congress must ensure women's access to both preventive women's health care and trusted community health providers, like Planned Parenthood."
Family planning centers, like Planned Parenthood, serve as an entry point for millions of women. The Guttmacher Institute reports that six in 10 clients consider family planning centers their main source of health care. Oftentimes, it is their first interaction with the country's health care system.
These tough economic times are especially difficult for women who are struggling to pay for basic health care. According to the Women's Research and Education Institute, women of childbearing age spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, in part because of reproductive health care needs. A recent survey conducted for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that women are delaying their annual exams as a result of the economic downturn. And a Kaiser Family Foundation report shows roughly 16.7 million women are uninsured, and thus likely to postpone care and delay or forgo important preventive care such as cancer screenings.
PPRM's 24 health centers in Colorado offer preventive reproductive health care, including routine cervical cancer screenings and the HPV vaccine, which protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers. Last year alone, PPRM provided nearly 17,200 cervical cancer screenings to women across its four-state region of Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Wyoming. Women should get annual Pap tests starting at age 21, or within three years of becoming sexually active, whichever occurs first.
As the region's most trusted provider of reproductive health care, more than 127,000 clients annually depend on PPRM for quality, affordable health care.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has been committed to providing affordable, confidential health care. Our goal is to ensure that every individual has the information, services and freedom to make healthy, responsible decisions about their sexuality. More than 127,000 women, men and young adults annually visit our 29 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Wyoming. For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1-800-230-PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.