Cervical cancer can be easily prevented with the help of regular screenings and testing. Cervical cancer is highly curable when detected and treated early. Cervical cancer does not reflect signs and symptoms in the initial phases, but advanced cervical cancer can be characterised by signs such as unusual bleeding or bleeding after sex and abnormal discharge from the vagina.
There are several ways in which women can prevent cervical cancer from advancing to a fatal stage and reducing the risk of developing cervical cancer.
1. Safe Sex
Safe sex is one of the basic things to do to prevent cervical cancer. Practicing safe sex helps in staying away from sexually transmitted diseases such as human papillomavirus (HPV), which is caused by cervical cancer. Therefore, protective sex is advised if women are sexually active.
Most of the cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), the sexually transmitted infection (STI) wherein people don’t even know they are infected. The infection has over 40 subtypes and affects male and female genitals or the surrounding areas. The infection may also result in genital warts.
2. Regular Pap Smear
Get regular pap smear for the prevention of cervical cancer, which identifies the threat of cervical changes turning into cancer. Cervical cancer screening guidelines will help you find how often you need these. Those who have uncertain Pap test results, HPV test may be used for screening women (over 30 years). If you are over 65 and have had a hysterectomy, the health care provider may advise you to stop having regular pap tests after normal outcomes.
3. Limiting Sexual Partners
Women who have multiple sexual partners are at a higher risk for cervical cancer. Multiple sexual partners also raise the concern of developing HPV.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking increases the risk of several cancer forms and therefore, cervical cancer is no exception. Smoking and second-hand smoke raises the chances of cervical dysplasia.
5. Follow up Pap smears
Women with abnormal Pap smear results should realise the importance of following up with regular pap smears or colposcopies. Ask the health care provider for prescription even if you have been treated for cervical dysplasia. If you ignore these prescriptions, dysplasia may reoccur and develop into cervical cancer.
6. HPV Immunisation
HPV immunisation prevents the risk strains of HPV in women. HPV vaccinations such as Gardasil (approved by the FDA) are recommended for young girls before they become sexually active.
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