The Overlooked Issue of Cervical Cancer Essay example

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Cervical cancer has a major impact on women’s lives; it is the second most common cause of cancer-related diseases and death among women worldwide. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), cervical cancer is the cancer that forms in tissues of the cervix. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus that connects the vagina to the upper part of the uterus. Cervical cancer is a slow-growing cancer that may not cause any symptoms at first but may cause pelvic pain or bleeding from the vagina later. It is mostly caused by a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sexual activity (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2010).
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The rate is more than twice of what is seen in non-Hispanic white women. African-American women develop cervical cancer about 50% more often than non-Hispanic white women. Besides ethnicity, other factors that can increase the risk of getting cervical cancer are smoking, using birth control pills for a long time, and having multiple sex partners (CDC, 2010).
2 Pertinent issues on the delivery of healthcare related to cervical cancer The two main issues that affect the delivery of healthcare related to prevention and early detection of cervical cancer are finance and the lack of awareness. Financial issues play a major role in whether or not women are screened or vaccinated for cervical cancer. The ACS (2010) reported that uninsured women are less likely to acquire screenings or vaccines. However, many states tried to solve the financial problem by ensuring that private insurance companies, Medicaid, and public employee health plans will provide coverage and reimbursement for Pap smear screening tests. The ACS supported such coverage assurances because they removed financial barriers for women who have health insurance, but whose insurance plans previously did not cover Pap smears (ACS, 2010). The lack of awareness about cervical cancer is another contributing factor besides financial concerns. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), women with low
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