Hey Everyone! It’s another #HealthTalkThursday!!!!
March is International Women’s month so we are going to be talking about the 4th most commonly occurring cancer in women globally: Cervical Cancer
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cervix- the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vaginal canal.
What causes Cervical Cancer?
It is mostly caused by long lasting Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is usually transmitted through sexual intercourse. Most people get HPV at least once in their lifetime, not all women that have HPV will however get cervical cancer.
What are the risk factors for Cervical Cancer?
- Weakened immune system
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Becoming sexually active at a young age i.e below 18
- Having other sexually transmitted infections e.g Chlamydia and Herpes
What symptoms should I look out for?
Most people with early stages of cervical cancer show no symptoms at all.
Some symptoms that may appear in later stages include:
- Usual vaginal bleeding e.g bleeding after sex, or in-between periods.
- Pelvic pain
- Watery or unusual vaginal discharge usually associated with strong odors
How do I prevent Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer can be prevented and treated if caught early.
Screening test for cervical cancer is a PAP test.
PAP tests are usually recommended for women over the age of 21 that have been sexually active. This test usually screens for abnormalities and changes in the cells of the cervix. PAP tests are usually recommended every 3 years but screening recommendations may vary depending on your location. Talk to you family doctor about getting a PAP test. Click this LINK to watch a video explaining what happens when you get a PAP test.
HPV vaccine is an approved vaccine that can also help prevent cervical cancer by preventing certain strains of the HPV virus. Talk to a doctor or Health care provider about HPV vaccine.
Other ways to reduce your risks include safe sexual practices.
What treatment options are available for Cervical Cancer?
Treatment options usually depend on the stage of cancer and different other factors.
HealthTalkThursday Challenge for this month- Book an appointment with your doctor to find out about getting a PAP test done.
PS: This post should not substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having any concerns, please speak to a medical practitioner