July 3, 2013

CAMC is collaborating with The Ohio State University, University of Michigan and West Virginia University to raise awareness and educate the community about cervical cancer. Community Awareness Resources and Education (CARE) is one of OSU Cancer Center's programs sponsored by the National Cancer Institute that focuses on an important health disparity among an underserved Appalachian population.

CARE II builds upon results of the previous CARE I project and continues to focus on the goal of understanding why cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates are higher in Appalachia. It also seeks to determine the role of heredity and genetic susceptibility factors on the development of invasive cervical cancer. CAMC is participating in step one of the four-step project.

"This research is particularly important in Appalachia due to high rates of smoking, as well as access to gynecologic wellwoman care," said Byron C. Calhoun, MD, FACOG, FACS, FASAM, MBA professor and vice chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, West Virginia University- Charleston. "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009, West Virginia had a cervical cancer rate of 10.1/100,000 people compared to the national average of 7.9/100,000. The Appalachian region continues to suffer from a disproportionate burden of cancers. The study hopes to clarify the genetic susceptibility to cervical cancer as it relates to the association with smoking, poor diet and lack of access to gynecologic well woman care."

"Both the female and male partner studies are investigating the role that HPV plays in the development of cervical cancer. A typical study visit will last about one hour and the participants are given a $20 gift card upon completion," Calhoun said.

Calhoun also emphasized the importance of this study for women of West Virginia and Appalachia. By identifying women at risk, doctors can effectively decrease the incidence of cervical cancer.

"Research allows us to learn how to better care for the women of our state and Appalachia. CAMC and WVU are very proud to be able to participate in this research that involves improving women's health in our state and region," he said.

Those who are interested in participating may call one of the study coordinators, Jennifer DePond, RN, (304) 388-2436 or Angela Henderson, RN,  (304) 388-9912.

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