Women living along the Texas-Mexico border have a 30% higher Cervical Cancer mortality rate. That is compared to non-border regions. One of the biggest culprits is a lack of education on the topic.
We spoke to doctors who say they’re working on new ways to reduce the risk of Cervical Cancer.
Dr. Rebecca Garcia, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas said, “We’re funding a lot of programs across the state that will give women who don’t have other resources, access to Cervical Cancer screening.”
Regular Cervical Cancer screenings are one of the easiest ways to detect and prevent cancer in women.
But with so many living without health insurance in the valley, doctors are taking matters into their own hands.
Dr. Carlos Herrera, Gynecologic Oncology said, “With the new DNA technology, we can detect the virus at very small quantities. And hopefully one day, we will have kits just like pregnancy tests that will detect women who have this virus.”
Dr. Herrera says our close proximity to Mexico is another reason why we’re seeing a growing number of women diagnosed with the disease.
“We also mimic what’s going on over there. That means, not a lot of screening, not a lot of education on the matter, and what happens is the rate of cervical cancer is exactly like it’s a third world country.”
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas is currently funding programs for the Human Papillomavirus vaccine because HPV is one of the main causes of Cervical Cancer.
Dr. Rebecca Garcia, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, “It’s recommended children ages 11-12 get vaccinated against the HPV virus. And this will really protect your children from getting cancer in the future.”
Currently doctors say booster shots to protect against HPV and Cervical Cancer are not necessary.
Smoking and having multiple sexual partners significantly increase the chance of contracting HPV and Cervical Cancer.