The cells of the cervix, the lower portion of the uterus that attaches to the vagina, are where cervical cancer develops. The majority of cervical cancers are brought on by different strains of the sexually transmitted infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The cells in the cervix are cancerous in cervical cancer. The most crucial actions you can take to avoid cervical cancer are getting regular gynaecological checkups, getting Pap tests, and engaging in safe sexual behaviour. The three major forms of therapy for cervical cancer are surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
As the newest vaccine launched in India brings our focus back to cervical cancer, its prevalence, and treatment, it is ideal to understand this disease. In this article, we list some of the most common facts about cervical cancer that every woman should be aware of.
7 facts about cervical cancer you should know about:
#1 Cervical cancer unlike many cancers is preventable
The greatest way to find abnormal cervix changes before they become cancerous is through routine Pap testing. Treating these abnormal cells can assist in preventing cervical cancer from developing, just as eliminating polyps to prevent colon cancer.
#2 HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer
Human papillomavirus (HPV), a prevalent virus that can be transmitted from one person to another through sexual activity, is the main cause of cervical cancer. It is possible for both men and women to contract HPV. It can exist for years without exhibiting any signs and be transmitted to others without their knowledge.
#3 Smoking can increase the risk of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is nearly two times more likely to affect women who smoke than non-smokers. Your immune system will be compromised by smoking, making it more challenging for your body to fight HPV infections on its own.
Furthermore, there is proof that both being overweight and long-term usage of oral contraceptives raise the risk of cervical cancer. Two to three times as likely for women to get cervical cancer if their sister or mother did. If there is a history of cervical cancer in your family, let your doctor know.
#4 Not all HPV strains are cancerous
Although dangerous, HPV is not usually a sign of cancer. There are around 150 viruses that make up the HPV family. The majority of people who have ever engaged in intercourse will contract HPV at some point in their lives. As was already mentioned, while some strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer and are the primary cause of the disease, the majority of infections clear up on their own and are unrelated to cancer.
#5 Cervical cancer can be identified with warning signs
As cervical cancer often goes undetected in the early stages, it is frequently referred to as a “silent killer.” However, as the illness worsens, warning signals could emerge. Examples include back pain, urinary incontinence, painful urination, odd discharge, unexpected menstrual cycles, and pain or bleeding after sex. Contact your doctor straight away if you experience any of these signs.
#6 Age can influence the risk of cervical cancer
Every three years, Pap tests should be done on women between the ages of 21 and 29. Women between the ages of 30 and 65 can choose between getting a Pap test every three years, getting an HR HPV test every five years, or getting both every five years. To determine what is best for them, ladies over 65 or those who have had their cervix removed should consult a healthcare professional.
#7 HPV vaccine can help prevent cervical cancer
Preventing HPV infection in the first place is the easiest method to avoid cervical cancer. A very effective HPV vaccine has been in use since 2006. The HPV vaccine, like other vaccines, works with your immune system to produce an antibody response that defends your body from the infection. Both men and women between the ages of 9 and 26 receive this immunisation in the form of two or three shots spread out over a six-month period.
In conclusion, a lack of information can lead to a lack of preventive measures. These preventive measures can help us avoid cervical cancer and various other diseases. Taking good care of one’s hygiene, health and diet can help one maintain proper overall health.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.