Cervical cancer cases are increasing at an alarming rate in the country as this type of cancer is commonly seen in women. Did you know? Screening can help prevent cervical cancer. Yes, that’s right! Screening can help spot abnormal changes in the cervix, and a woman can get prompt treatment. January is observed as cervical health awareness month to make women aware of this fatal condition and help them stay preventive. Read on to know more about the importance of screening when it comes to cervical cancer as told by Dr. Sheetal Agarwal Gynaecologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Delhi. Also, immediately opt for it, if you still haven’t. After all, it’s a matter of your well-being, and you cannot neglect it, right?
Cervical cancer causes
Women, do you encounter pelvic pain after intercourse? Or is there any abnormal vaginal discharge? Then, you need to beware! This can indicate cervical cancer. Yes, you have heard us here!
Did you know that Cervical cancer starts from the cervix of a woman which is the lower end of the womb (uterus)? Human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, is the main cause of this cancer. Other risk factors for cervical cancer that can make you fall prey to this type of cancer are:
- having sex at an early age that raises the chances of one suffering from HPV infection
- having chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV and Aids
- age of the women
- weak immune system
- having multiple partners
- unmonitored use of birth control pills
Cervical cancer symptoms
If you are aware of the symptoms of a problem, you can easily and effectively avert the complications related to it. According to Dr. Agarwal, the two major symptoms of cervical cancer in women are:
- vaginal and pelvic pain after intercourse
- foul vaginal discharge
Screening can help one to prevent cervical cancer, and save lives. This is why screening is essential to detect cervical cancer.
Regular screening for cancer of cervix
Screening is widely done to look for precancerous changes or early cancers before signs or symptoms of cancer tend to appear. There is still a lack of awareness regarding cervical cancer, and women fail to come and speak out in open due to fear. But, they should be encouraged to go for a regular screening right from the age of 21-65, after every three years. Here, we tell you about basic cervical cancer screening tests and how they are done.
Also known as a Pap smear is a test to spot early changes in cells that can turn cancerous. Here, the sample of cells from the cervix is taken for checking. A Pap test is also combined with an HPV test.
While performing it, a sample of cells is removed from the cervix, and is examined for the strains of HPV most commonly linked to cervical cancer. One can only do an HPV test or combine it with a Pap test.
Vaccination for cervical cancer prevention
Now vaccines for cervical cancer have come which are both bivalent and quadrivalent to give protection not only against cervical cancer but also against genital warts. It’s a course of three doses given over a period of 6 months from the age of 9 to 45 years.
Cervical cancer is less talked about and so, most women know about this cancer in detail. It is very important to spread awareness and save lives of women. Be watchful of the unusual signs and symptoms that your body might be showing. It can help in reducing the possibility of an underlying disease. You need to speak to your doctor regarding cervical cancer screening and follow a proper schedule. Do not neglect your health, and miss your screening routine as doing so can be fatal for you. Be vigilant about your health, and do not take your health lightly.
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