Aside from breast cancer, cervical cancer is a widespread disease that affects women from different parts of the world. As considered cancer, cells that are not healthy or normal are quick to replicate and grow. That is the reason why this particular cancer in women is deadly and must be seriously taken into consideration. It means it is something to be prevented with the right and healthy habits. To help you lower the risk of getting this cancer, there are five important things you must know. Here are the following facts about cervical cancer that all women, including you, need to know.
Fact 1: Cervical Cancer Mainly Affects the Cervix
Women have cervix, which explains why this cancer only happens to ladies, and this body part is the lower and narrow end of the uterus or womb, and is the bride between the vagina or birth canal and the upper part uterus. Because uterus is where a baby is fund and grows during pregnancy, any lady who is diagnosed with cancer is not recommended to become pregnant.
Starting from 25 years of age, all ladies are at risk to have cervical cancer. Most of the thousand cases for the last several years are about women at the age of 30 and beyond. To add that, it is possible to women regardless of the race. However, in Western societies, this is more prevented because all the necessary tests and screening of this cancer are available. Pap smear is the kind of test conducted to check if a women is prone to the cancer or has it already. Moreover, Western women have high possibility to prevent it due to vaccine.
Fact 2: Cervical Cancer is Caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
There is only one cause of this cancer in women. That is the infection called human papillomavirus, or commonly known as HPV. This viral infection occurs during sexual intercourse with multiple partners. There is a high risk for a woman to get cancer if she is sexually active, and sleeps with one person to another.
Fact 3: Cervical Cancer Can be Prevented through HPV Vaccine
As mentioned earlier, early screening and test is able to help a women prevent getting this cancer. If she is vaccinated against HPV, there is a high risk of avoiding the occurrence of this particular virus. There is absolutely awareness against cancer by promoting the importance of HPV vaccination. From public places to private locations, and schools to malls, banners, posters and pamphlets are give out to encourage women to get vaccinated and reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
There are also events wherein women have the chance to learn information about cervical cancer, HPV, and HPV vaccination. Attending to this kind of affair is very helpful, especially those who have no idea what this cancer can do. The ultimate objective of spreading awareness is to help women get saved from the threat of this disease.
This kind of vaccination is mostly given to younger women, especially those who have not yet encountered sex, because it helps them get protected from future risk of the cancer. Likewise, even those women who have some sexual experiences already can still be vaccinated by this. Take note that every woman, whether virgin or not, should get vaccination.
Other than HPV vaccination, regular Pap smears, which are a type of test to detect the risk of cancer, are recommended. This is able to diagnose if a woman can have the possibility to get cervical cancer. It is a way to detect the presence of cancerous cells caused by HPV. Women are strongly encouraged to have regular Pap smear test, in order to avoid having the HPV, and most especially the cancer to the cervix.
Fact 4: Cervical Cancer Has Distinctive Symptoms
It is also essential and helpful to know the different signs or symptoms of this cancer. While some of the symptoms are the same as other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or sexually transmitted infections (STI), women should be aware of them as signs of cervical cancer.
The common symptoms that indicate cancerous cells in the cervix are the following: chronic fatigue, pain (especially in the pelvic region), vaginal discharge, bleeding outside or between regular menstrual cycle, unexplained or sudden weight loss, constant fever (mild or severe), abnormal bowel movements, non-stop coughing, and sores that do not heal. When you suffer more of these symptoms, you must not be hesitant to see a doctor, particularly a gynecologist or OB/GYNE, and have your cervical area checked.
Fact 5: Cervical Cancer Has Treatment
As long as cervical cancer is diagnoses early, there is a high chance of getting cured and be free from the disease. Yet, treatment against this cancer is available worldwide.
Depending on the stage of the cancer, the treatment methods vary. The methods to cure it include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In treating cervical cancer, surgery is the process of removing lymph nodes in the pelvic region, whether the ovaries and fallopian tubes are taken away or not. One example of surgical process is the hysterectomy. Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are usually recommended when the patient is already in a much later stage of the cancer. These are treatments wherein the cancerous cells are prevented to replicate and multiply, as well as replaced with healthy cells.
The best way to prevent cervical cancer is to have safe sex or if possible stay away from it until you are married, and just have intercourse with one person. Remember that there is also high risk of getting STDs or STIs, which may include HPV, until it becomes cancer when the cervix is affected, if a woman is sexually active with different partners. That is why they are also encouraged to limit their number of sex partners in order to avoid having this deadly cancer. Nonetheless, always take care of yourself and be aware of the causes, symptoms and treatments of cervical cancer, so you are always safe and be cancer free.