It is the second leading cancer found in women under 35. Cervical Cancer Awareness Week kicked off Monday and Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo, along with the Kentucky Commission on Women, is helping leaders promote a greater understanding of the disease.
“If we were to be given a grade on the report card for health for women, we would get an 'F.' So that is simply unacceptable,” says Eleanor Jordan, Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Women. “It's time for us to get out of our silos and not stop talking about cervical cancer and breast cancer and obesity and nutrition. But let's start talking about women's health,” she says.
Lieutenant Governor Mongiardo says the state is taking great strides when it comes to cervical cancer. Researchers at the University of Kentucky are working on a new vaccine to combat the disease.
“It's the first vaccine like it anywhere in the world to prevent cancer, so we're really proud.”
Jordan says it is one step closer to making sure Kentucky women are healthy.
“We need to talk about it. This is not a secret. We don't need to keep this. We need to talk about it and change the grade,” says Jordan
“I think it's wonderful and maybe we can start getting the message out to more people,” says Shirley Coleman, a cancer survivor.
The Kentucky Commission on Women is holding a women's health summit September 11th and 12th. There will be discussions about improving the health of Kentucky women and the state's role in producing a new cervical cancer vaccine.