Cervical cancer is one such malignancy that often falls under the category of a silent killer. This is a slow-growing disease that seldom manifests symptoms in its early stages. Unfortunately, it is the most common female-specific tumour today, which is caused due to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The cervical cancer cells do not directly establish themselves in the healthy cervical cells but into the virus-infected cervical cells. Thus, cervical cancer is more often than not linked to the persistent infection of the HPV virus. If you want to understand how to prevent cervical cancer, here are a few tips to go by:
1. Routine Pap Tests:
It is advised to make a Pap test on a routine basis, no matter what age group you belong to. Women who are at a higher risk of cervical cancer, which includes those who are sexually active and those who have a sexual partner who has been diagnosed with the infection, should get a Pap test more than once a year.
2. Follow up on Abnormal Pap:
If a woman has been diagnosed with an adverse Pap smear, a follow-up examination within a few months is advised to assess the seriousness of her cervical infection. A colposcopy is a follow-up test that is used to diagnose the severity of the abnormal cells. This test involves a procedure using a microscope, and the physician may also use an electrically charged brush to remove cells so they can be examined under the microscope.
The introduction of the HPV vaccine in 2007 has surpassed several of the other preventive measures. This is in addition to routine testing for a lot of women. The HPV vaccine injections have started touching positive results in the form of a decline in the cases of cervical cancer. Several pharmaceutical investments from companies such as Gardasil, and Cervarix, help in the production and manufacture of these vaccines.
4. Practice Safe Sex:
It is not just the HPV infection that causes vaginal cancer; the protection against gonorrhea and chlamydia infections has also helped to reduce cervical cancer cases. It is quite important to practice safe sex when you have multiple sex partners. You should also make sure that you tell your partner if/when you have an STD. Condoms are your best friends in the efforts to avoid contracting an infection.
5. Assess your Risk:
It is a good idea to learn from the experiences of others. Talking to those people who have suffered from HPV and cervical carcinoma infections will help you gauge your risk. However, you should never worry if you are a woman and become a mother or you have suffered from HPV infection, cancer, or in the past. Being informed and knowing about such infections and discussing them with your doctor will help you understand how to prevent cervical cancer and a host of other infections.
Cervical cancer is no longer a death sentence, thanks to early identification of the infection and the option to go for the protective injections, pregnancy, and birth control. There is no need to wait until you are diagnosed with cervical cancer to treat it.
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