The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Cancer Awareness month. More than 13,000 women in just the United States are diagnosed each year and unfortunately, more than 4,000 women will die. However, it is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Let’s discuss exactly what is cervical cancer, how it can be prevented and the outlook.
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), play a role in causing most cervical cancer. These Various strains of HPV spread through sexual contact. Some HPV types can cause changes on a woman’s cervix that can lead to cervical cancer over time. Precancerous cervical cell changes and early cancers of the cervix generally do not cause symptoms. For this reason, regular screening through Pap and HPV tests can help catch precancerous cell changes early and prevent the development of cervical cancer. You should get your first Pap test at age 21. If your test result is normal, you can wait three years for your next test. Other steps that may also help lower your risk for cervical cancer are:
· Don’t smoke.
· Use condoms during sex.
· Limit your number of sexual partners.
Another preventable method from getting cervical cancer is the HPV vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of Gardasil 9 for males and females ages 9 to 45. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that the HPV vaccine be given to girls and boys between ages 11 and 12. If you’re age 27 to 45, discuss with your doctor whether he or she recommends that you get the HPV vaccine.
Discussing any type of cancer can be scary but the best way to beat it is to try and prevent it. To prevent it, you must be informed. Please ask your doctor for more information about cervical cancer, preventions, and any other questions that you may have. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/cervicalcancer/index.htm
About the Author:
Anna Valverde has always had a passion for fitness and wellness. She received her Bachelors in Physical Education with an emphasis in teacher education at Chico State University, and has been in the fitness/wellness industry since 2002. In addition to fitness and wellness, her pride and joy are her two young boys. They are 2 and 4 and keep her on her toes. Her family loves to be outdoors, hiking, swimming and the boys love their weekly visit to the zoo!