Cervical cancer effort
in state graded ‘fair’

Hawaii received only a "fair" rating -- 44 out of 100 -- in a national report on how states are doing in fighting cervical cancer.

"A Call to Action: The State of Cervical Cancer Prevention in America" was issued by Women in Government.

Findings were released by state Reps. Barbara Marumoto (R, Kahala-Waialae-Maunalani Heights), Marilyn Lee (D, Waipio-Crestview-Mililani) and Lynn Finnegan (R, Kalihi-Hickam-Aliamanu-Foster Village).

"Clearly, Hawaii has a lot of work to do, given that cervical cancer is almost completely preventable," Marumoto said in a news release. "Hawaii has no loud, clear voice to warn women that HPV (human papillomavirus) is a precursor to cervical cancer."

The study shows Hawaii needs HPV testing, she said.

Finnegan said 86.9 percent of Hawaii women say they have been screened in the last three years, but all women must be screened regularly and educated about cervical cancer and the HPV virus that causes it.

She said the most advanced technologies should be used in screening to improve upon the Pap test in identifying women who need early intervention.

The Pap test fails to identify women needing early intervention 15 percent to 49 percent of the time, according to the report.

An HPV test has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration that increases accuracy to almost 100 percent when used with a Pap in women age 30 and older, it said.

The report looked at cervical cancer rates, access to screening with the latest technology and legislative priority on the issue.

Massachusetts scored the highest, with 75 percent; Tennessee and Texas scored the lowest, at 25 percent.

The report is part of a campaign to urge legislatures to pass bills and resolutions to improve cervical cancer prevention.

Women in Government

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