Cervical Cancer Awareness
- 24 Jan 2023
- Sublime Nursing
Get Informed, Get Screened, Get Vaccinated
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted infection. HPV infects the cells of the cervix, leading to changes in the DNA of the cells, which can cause them to become cancerous over time.
Cervical cancer usually develops slowly, with precancerous changes in the cervix occurring before the cancer itself. This is why regular cervical cancer screenings, such as Pap tests and HPV tests, are so important. These tests can detect precancerous changes in the cervix before they turn into cancer, allowing for early treatment and a better chance of a cure. Symptoms of cervical cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and pain during intercourse.
Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. It's important to note that cervical cancer can be preventable and even curable if detected early, that's why the regular screenings are important.
There are several ways to prevent cervical cancer:
1) HPV vaccination: HPV vaccination is recommended for girls and boys starting at age 11 or 12, and for young adults through age 26 who did not receive the vaccine when they were younger. The vaccine is highly effective in preventing the most common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.
2) Regular screenings: Women should have regular cervical cancer screenings, such as Pap tests and HPV tests, starting at age 21. For women over 30, the combination of an HPV test and a Pap test every 5 years is recommended. Screenings can help detect cervical cancer in its early stages, when it is most treatable.
3) Practice safe sex: Using condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners can help reduce the risk of contracting HPV.
4) Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer.
5) Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of cervical cancer.
6) Avoiding oral contraceptives for long period of time: Long-term use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) can increase the risk of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer awareness refers to efforts to educate the public about the risk factors, symptoms, and prevention of cervical cancer. This includes promoting regular screenings, such as Pap tests and HPV tests, as well as encouraging vaccination against HPV, which is a leading cause of cervical cancer. Cervical Cancer awareness month is January, where various awareness campaigns are run and events are held to create awareness about cervical cancer, its causes and the available preventive measures.
Additionally, raising awareness about cervical cancer can help reduce the stigma and embarrassment that some women may feel about getting screened and discussing their sexual health with a healthcare provider.