Cervical Cancer Awareness

Nearly 300,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical precancers that require treatment each year. Cervical Cancer Awareness Month is in January, which is an excellent time to raise awareness about cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which can help prevent certain malignancies. HPV infections can cause more than only cervical cancer, and they can also lead to invasive cervical precancer testing and treatment. If you need to learn more about cervical cancer, treatment and prevention, read on to learn more.

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the cells of the cervix, which connects the uterus to the vaginal canal. Most cervical cancer is caused by different strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection.

When the body is exposed to HPV, the immune system usually stops the virus from causing harm. Nevertheless, in a small number of people, the virus can live for years, contributing to the transformation of some cervical cells into cancer cells. Cervical cancer can be prevented by having screening tests and getting a vaccine that protects against HPV infection.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

Early-stage cervical cancer is characterized by the presence of symptoms. The symptoms of advanced cancer or cancer that have spread to other parts of the body may be more severe, depending on which tissues and organs have been affected. A symptom could be caused by something other than cancer, that is why you should seek medical help if you develop a new symptom that does not go away. Here are some signs and symptoms to check out:

  • Vaginal bleeding occurs after a sexual encounter, during a period, or after menopause.
  • Pelvic pain or discomfort during sexual activity.
  • Vaginal discharge is watery, crimson, and has a bad odour.

Beginning at the age of 21, contact your doctor for frequent Pap tests to detect cervical cancer in its early stages.

Can human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines help prevent cancer?

You can prevent cervical cancer by taking the human papillomavirus(HPV) vaccine. If given before girls or women are exposed to the virus, this vaccination can prevent most incidences of cervical cancer. This vaccine can also help to prevent cancers of the vaginal and vulvar regions. Also, the vaccine can protect you from genital warts, anal cancers, and mouth, throat, head, and neck cancers.

Why West Oakland Health?

West Oakland Health provides medical treatments geared to women’s health, such as family planning, healthy pregnancy, annual examinations on general health, and postpartum care. We also offer screenings for breast and cervical cancer. West Oakland Health’s expert gynaecologists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives provide women’s health services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Fight for Health Care Equity on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“Of all inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most appalling and inhuman.” 

Martin Luther King Jr. uttered this quote during a 1966 press conference connected to the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR) annual meeting. 

In the fight for health care equity, medical activists often invoke these words to align their movement with the civil rights movement. Racial inequities in health warrant attention as they are in stark contrast in several health dimensions. 

Spoken more than five decades ago, this quote articulates a prophetic truism still relevant in 2022. Today, there’s a 3.8 years’ life expectancy difference between racial and ethnic minorities and whites. Among the most severe racial health disparities are:

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Health insurance coverage 
  • Birth complications

Drawing inspiration from Dr.King’s message of healthcare inclusivity, many who continue the fight against healthcare inequity stay hopeful that social change will eradicate injustices in healthcare, especially on Martin Luther King Jr.’s day.

Following the fight against COVID-19, it’s clear that the pandemic affects racial and ethnic minorities more. They’re four times more probable than white Americans to get hospitalized when tested positive

The West Oakland Health Council, launched fifty years ago, amid the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. It was the backbone of transformation in healthcare advocacy in California. As the neighborhood stronghold for health care, the council aims to improve healthcare for the community it serves. 

The West Oakland Health Council has five clinic sites in Berkley, West Oakland, and East Oakland, mainly within the East Bay. The services offered include:

  • Family health care
  • Pediatric medicine
  • Dental health care
  • Ophthalmology
  • Behavioral health care

As a recipient of federal grants by the Health Resources and Services Administration, the West Oakland Health Council Medical Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center. We serve those with medical, Medicare, other insurance, and those without insurance.

Martin Luther King Day

We will be closed Monday January 17, 2022

honoring  Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is an official day of service and celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

What You Should Know About the New COVID-19 Omicron Variant

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is the latest variant of this virus to be reported. The WHO, on 26th November 2021, classified it as a variant of concern (VOC). This variant has developed because of mutations in the COVID-19 virus that have changed how the virus behaves.

What do we know So Far?

Initial findings show the Covid-19 Omicron Variant could be less severe than the Delta variant. It was first discovered in South Africa. Scientists are in top gear to gather as much information as possible about this variant.

Uncovering information about genetic changes in Omicron, its speed of spread, the effect of vaccination, and how it presents in patients is critical to help fight its spread.

The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is cautioning countries around the world not to treat this variant as “mild” but to employ all the known methods to prevent its spread.

New variants, such as the Covid-19 Omicron Variant, remind us that the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. People should get vaccinated and booster doses to prevent severe COVID-19 disease.

Also, people should follow the existing guidelines on limiting the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing masks, physical distancing, and frequent hand washing.

Is This Variant More Contagious?

Preliminary evidence shows that the Omicron Variant is spreading faster than others. The good news is vaccination and other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that have been effective against other variants of this virus will help mitigate Omicron.

How Is Omicron Affecting the Vaccinated vs. Non-vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccines are the ideal public health measure to protect the masses from infections, severe disease, and death.

Breakthrough infections are less likely to occur in persons who are fully vaccinated, as with other variants of COVID-19. They are effective at preventing hospitalizations, severe illness, and deaths.

The emergence of the Covid-19 Omicron Variant highlights the significance of vaccination and booster doses.

Get vaccinated today to help mitigate the risks of COVID-19 infection. If you’re already vaccinated, you’re encouraged to get a booster dose. Visit West Oakland Health to get vaccinated. Call (510) 835-9610 to make an appointment.