Nowadays we all worry about cancer, unless of course you’re not human. But for those of us who live with such a worry, it does pay to take caution and watch our steps lest we fall victim. For the ladies, it’s true you can get cervical cancer, even when you don’t know it yet.Save that for another day because today you shall know.
Don’t know a cervix? It’s the lower end of the uterus(the muscle that holds baby when you’re pregnant), which connects the vagina to the uterus. The cervix can get cancerous and cause you immense trouble.
Cervical cancer is mostly caused by HPV(Human Papilloma Virus), which is often spread through having unprotected sex.HPV is very common, and can affect women at least once in their life. It usually disappears by itself but in the event that it doesn’t, the woman becomes a high target for cervical cancer.
So why should you test for cervical cancer?
1.Because you could be at risk of getting it, especially if the following apply to you;
- having multiple sexual partners
- having many children i.e 3 or more
- Having HIV
- Using birth control pills for long say for 5 or more years
2.Because you could be having it without knowing, especially if you experience these symptoms;
- painful sex
- bleeding after sex or douching
- bleeding between menstrual periods or after
- Heavy menstrual periods that are often longer than usual
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Bleeding after menopause
So what tests are done?
- Pap smear:this one checks for any cells around the cervix that are enroute to growing into cancer.
- HPV test:This one looks for the virus that causes cervical cancer.
-Have regular screening tests starting from age 21.
-If you’re aged between 21 and 65, you should visit your doctor regularly for those tests. Your doctor will determine how frequently you should have them. For example if your pap test results are normal, you have a low chance of developing cervical cancer and your doctor may tell you to return in 3 years.
-Consider getting the HPV vaccine, which protects you against the HPV virus. This vaccine is given to girls from the age of 10, until age 26. The course of the vaccination can be 2 to 3 shots depending on the age of the female. But even the vaccinated women should get the pap tests!
Want to prevent catching cervical cancer?
- limit the number of your sexual partners or practice the age-old monogamy
- correctly and consistently use condoms
- Don’t smoke
With good vigilance, you can avoid getting cervical cancer. Keep yourself always informed about it and always consult any of our online doctors at aferdoc.com for instant help and advice. You don’t always have to wait in a line at a doctors clinic.