WASHINGTON — The American Cancer Society estimates that 4,250 women will die from cervical cancer in the United States this year.
Fox Sports reporter and host of the TV competition “Dancing With The Stars” Erin Andrews was diagnosed back in 2016 and she is stressing during this Cervical Health Awareness Month that “Every 2 hours 1 woman dies of cervical cancer: We can change this stat.”
She joined women’s health expert Dr. Jessica Shepherd to discuss the best way for women to protect themselves and advice for preparing for their annual exam.
HPV and cervical cancer
The human papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S., is found in about 99 percent of cervical cancers according to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition. More than 70 percent of cervical cancer cases can be attribute to two high-risk HPV types: HPV-16 and HPV-18.
Shepherd told WTOP, “If we want to eradicate this disease or the instances of cervical cancer … we need to eliminate HPV. That’s why it’s so important for women to get their pap starting at the age of 21 … but also pap and HPV testing between the ages of 30-65.”
Getting your annual exam
Shepherd stressed visiting your doctor routinely so you can detect cervical cancer early, citing Andrews’s story — she found it soon enough so she could begin treatment and eventually be cured.
“I hope that her story can move women and men … to pick up the phone, get a scheduled annual exam or … maybe a male called the loved woman in his life to ask have you had your annual pap this year?” she said.
Living and working with cervical cancer
“It was really my escape just to work,” Andrews said.
Andrews was diagnosed in September 2016 with cervical cancer, but was determined to stay on the sideline of the NFL’s premier games.
“I had two surgeries during the season … it wasn’t the most comfortable thing … I’m not flying charter by any means, so making two [redeye] flights to Green Bay and then a connection when you just found out you need another surgery wasn’t the best … but I got through it. Football gave me the normalcy I needed to deal with the whole thing.”
Check below to hear the full interview with Erin Andrews and Dr. Jessica Shepherd.