CERVICAL CANCER FREE LOUISIANA INITIATIVE
The southern region of the U.S. has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in cervical cancer incidence and mortality. From 2007-2011, Louisiana's cancer mortality rate ranks 4th nationally; only three other states have higher death rates. African-American women in Louisiana are particularly at risk, with 25% higher incidence rates of cervical cancer compared to Caucasian women. African-American women are also twice as likely to die of cervical cancer as their Caucasian counterparts. Difficulties accessing cervical cancer screening and intervention programs and poor HPV vaccine uptake in Louisiana have contributed to sustained rates of cervical cancer in the state.
The Cervical Cancer Free Louisiana (CCFLA) initiative is striving to change these dire statistics by increasing awareness of cervical cancer prevention programs, increasing rates of Pap testing and follow-up care among women in Louisiana, and improving HPV vaccine uptake among adolescents in Louisiana. With adequate cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination, cervical cancer is a preventable disease. We hope our efforts will create a future Louisiana where women live without the threat of this deadly disease.