While annual Pap test screenings in the past 30 years have reduced the cervical cancer rate by 50 percent, it isn't the only way to detect cervical cancer. As it turns out, we only need to have one every three years.
Not only were women subject to discriminatory rates, but none of the preventive services women typically need were required. That is no longer the case. But a glaring hole remains -- the failure of 24 states to expand Medicaid to cover 6.4 million of the working poor.
Now the pink has been put away for another year and breast cancer is no longer in the spotlight. Unless you happen to be a breast cancer survivor or be battling the disease yourself, that is -- like me and millions of other women, many of us lesbians.
Annually in the U.S. about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and for 4,000 of them, it's fatal. African-American women with cervical cancer are twice as likely to lose their lives to this disease than white women.