Do you know that January is the month of Cervical Cancer Awareness?
Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women. It occurs in the cells of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina).
Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is transmitted by sexual activities play a role in causing most cervical cancer.
Our body immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. However, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells to some women.
There are a few factors that causes cervical cancer, ie;
- A weak immune system;
- Sexual activity at a younger age;
- Many sexual partners;
- Other sexually transmitted infections (STIs);
- Exposure to miscarriage prevention drug; and
How can we know if we are suffering from cervical cancer?
It is important for us to run a Papanicolaou test (Pap Smear) to detect potentially precancerous changes every three (3) to five (5) years as long as results are normal. Besides that, there are a few symptoms shown that could be the signs of cervical cancer;
- Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse;
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods or after menopause; and
- Watery, bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy and have a foul odor.
Girls…you gotta make an appoinment with the doctor as soon as you could if these signs exist.
There are some prevention we could take to reduce the risk of cervical cancer, such as:
- Have routine Pap tests;
- Practice safe sex;
- Regular HPV vaccination; and
- Don’t smoke.
Stay healthy, lovelies…