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Cervical Cancer and why women should work to prevent it

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that grows anywhere in the cervix.

The cervix is a part of the reproductive system which can also be referred to as the neck of the womb. It is the opening between the vagina and the womb (uterus).

Most cases of cervical cancers are caused by an infection from certain viruses(HPV) that is spread during intercourse or during other forms of activity where there is direct contact with the genitals (skin to skin). 

Though there are over 100 types of human papillomavirus (HPV), about 15 of them are considered high risk for cervical cancer especially HPV 16 and HPV 18.

Cancer of the cervix often takes many years to develop. Before it does, the cells in the cervice often show changes. These cervical irregularities are known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) which hardly pose an immediate threat to a person's health. However, the risk of cervical cancer is in how far cancer has spread.

Women can prevent this disease by getting vaccinated. The HPV vaccine protects against cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. This vaccine can be administered from ages 9-12 and even at age 26 if you have not been vaccinated before. It is important to note that the HPV vaccine does not cure already existing infections. It only prevents new HPV infections. 

Photo Credit: BBC

Screening Test

The screen test is an effective way of preventing cancer. The Pap test is an effective way to look for changes in the cervical cells that could become cancer. 

Limiting the number of partners you have also goes a long way in preventing cervical cancer. If you must have more than one sexual partner, do not forget to use condoms . 

Also, staying away from tobacco is an effective way of lowering your risk of developing cervical cancer.

Content created and supplied by: DrGeraldine (via Opera News )

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