Courier Journal (Louisville) (02.12.12) - Thursday, February
A new Facebook application aims to raise awareness of cervical
cancer and ways that it can be prevented. The app is part of
"Cause the Movement," a Cervical Cancer-Free Kentucky
Initiative education and prevention campaign.
"We want to get the message to where we know people are
getting their information, and Facebook, Twitter, and websites
are 'the thing,'" said Dr. Baretta R. Casey, the initiative's
The app can be found at www.causethemovement.org. Facebook
users' pictures are incorporated into an educational video on
cervical cancer. "Their friends' and family's faces will
actually come up into the video," personalizing the topic,
said Casey. Her group, based at the University of Kentucky,
was founded 18 months ago through a partnership with the Rural
Cancer Prevention Center at the UK College of Public Health to
reduce cervical cancer's impact on the state. Drugmaker
GlaxoSmithKline provided unrestricted funding.
This year, Kentucky will see 180 new cervical cancer cases,
while Indiana will record 250, American Cancer Society figures
show. Kentucky's incidence rate of 8.2 cases per 100,000 in
2008 ranked it among the 25 worst states, according to federal
data. Indiana's incidence rate was 6.9 per 100,000.
Cervical cancer is "considered a preventable disease," said
Dr. Sharmila Makhija, chair of the OB/GYN and women's health
department at the University of Louisville.
"From the time that you're exposed to [human papillomavirus]
to the time that changes start occurring on the cervix can be
up to 20 years, and if you're getting regular Pap smears, we
can catch those changes very early, and this is very easily
treated," said Dr. Kimberly Bernard, an OB/GYN with Norton
Getting young people immunized against HPV prior to exposure
is also a goal of the campaign, Casey said.