One Simple Trick That Can Help Prevent Cervical Cancer And Other Ways To Decrease The Risk
Although we don’t know the specific causes of so many types of cancer yet, we know that cervical cancer is typically caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV) and is most likely to develop in sexually active women under 35. Doctors believe there’s a simple measure you can take to prevent this type of cancer – using a condom during sexual intercourse.
What is cervical cancer and what are the symptoms?
Cervical cancer is a malignant growth of cells from the cervix. It is the fourth most common type of cancer in the world. Although typically it doesn’t cause any early symptoms, if you experience the following ones, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible:
- abnormal vaginal bleeding and discharge;
- pain during or after sexual intercourse;
- unpleasant odor;
- pelvic pain.
If cancer has spread to other tissues, you may experience the following symptoms:
- blood in urine, trouble urinating;
- back pain or swollen legs;
- diarrhea, or pain or blood during defecation;
- fatigue and poor appetite;
- nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, etc.
How to prevent cervical cancer?
Good news is that cervical cancer is one of the few types of cancer that can be prevented. The risk factors of getting cervical cancer include smoking, having HPV, or having a weakened or suppressed immune system. However, these tips can help you prevent cervical cancer.
1. Having safe sex
Doctors link most cases of cervical cancer to an infection caused by certain types of HPV transmitted through unsafe sex. Therefore, using a condom can greatly reduce chances of developing the deadly disease. Nevertheless, you have to know that it is not a panacea, and HPV can be transmitted by any skin-to-skin contact between genitals; vaginal, anal or oral sex; and using other person’s sex toys.
It is also recommended to limit the number of sexual partners and not become sexually active too early.
2. Healthy immune system
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There are many ways to boost your immune system. However, the most effective way is leading a healthy lifestyle, which means a healthy diet, regular exercises, no smoking and drinking alcohol.
3. HPV vaccine
Although there are more than 100 types of HPV, it is known that types 16 and 18 cause more than half of all cervical cancers. The HPV vaccine can help you with those types, as it targets exactly them. Ideally, girls should get the vaccine at the age of 11 or 12, before they become sexually active.
4. Pap test
This type of screening is considered one of the most effective preventative measures you can take. During a Pap test, your gynecologist takes a sample of your cervical cells to find if there are ones that are called “precancerous,” cells that might potentially become cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends women to undergo the test from age 21 once every 3 years. After the age of 29, it is once every 3-5 years.
We hope these tips will help you prevent cervical cancer. Let’s be wise and take care of ourselves! Share this article to raise awareness about this preventable yet really common deadly disease.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.