The Illinois Department of Public Health has set aside this month to observe Cervical Health Awareness Month. The department will work throughout January to spread awareness and highlight issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease, and the important of early detection. Dr. Nirav D. Shah, the Department's director, says that cervical cancer is extremely preventable when implementing routine screening, but around 4,000 women still lost their lives to the disease last year. Shah says that this is why proper knowledge and awareness is key, and he encourages women, adolescent girls, boys, and parents to discuss HPV vaccines with their health care providers. Each year, roughly 500 Illinoisans are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and the CDC reports that half of these cases occur in women who are very rarely or never screened for the disease. Although this type of cancer typically grows slowly, it can be detected early with regular Pap tests. You can find out more information at the Illinois Department of Public Health's website, or by calling the health line at 1-888-522-1282.