|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on January 13, 2021 at 9:55 PM|
By Karen Boone, MN, MPH, RN
We all have goals in life. One of my goals is to keep women from dying from cervical cancer. That may sound like an impossible goal, but I think its possible. In this blog post, I will share with you how cervical cancer can be found early, treated, and even prevented altogether. At the end I will tell you how you can help me keep women from dying of cervical cancer.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. ( Cervical cancer - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic)
Does a virus cause cervical cancer?
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is very common in the United States and is passed from one person to another during sex.
Can cervical cancer be prevented?
Here’s how you can prevent cervical cancer: Get the HPV vaccine if you are in the age group for which it’s recommended. The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. It is recommended for preteens (both boys and girls) aged 11 to 12 years, but can be given as early as age 9 and until age 26. Get recommended screening tests. The Pap test helps find cell changes on the cervix so they can be treated before they turn into cancer. The HPV test looks for HPV, which can cause cervical cancer.
At what age should a woman start getting Pap tests?
At 21 years old. Women should start getting Pap tests at age 21.
Should a woman get a Pap smear every year?
If you just had a Pap test and your Pap test result is normal, your doctor may say that you will not need another Pap test for 3 years. If you are 30 to 65 years old, you can choose to get a Pap test only, an HPV test only, or both tests together. If these results are normal, your doctor may then say that you can wait 3 years to be screened again if you got a Pap test only, or 5 years if you got an HPV test only or both tests together.
What are symptoms of cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer usually starts with no symptoms. As it develops, it may cause bleeding or discharge from the vagina that is not normal for you, such as bleeding after sex. If you have any of these signs, see your doctor. They may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor.
Is it normal to have some vaginal bleeding or spotting after you’ve gone through menopause?
If you’ve gone through menopause and have any vaginal bleeding, you should report it to your doctor. And for women who have not yet gone through menopause – if you notice that your periods are heavier, last longer than is normal for you, or if you are having unusual bleeding between periods, talk to your doctor.
Can cervical cancer be cured?
Cervical cancer is highly curable when found early and treated soon after it is diagnosed.
Are all women at risk for gynecologic cancer?
All women are at risk. Each gynecologic cancer has different risk factors, and risk increases with age. To help lower your risk: pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you; make healthy choices such as eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy weight, not smoking, and practicing safe sex; share your family health history with your doctor; get the HPV vaccine if you are at an age when it is recommended; and get screened for cervical cancer regularly.
CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women across the United States. You can find a free or low-cost screening for cervical cancer. Find a Screening Program Near You | NBCCEDP | CDC
So….how we do keep women from dying from cervical cancer?
Let every woman know that she can prevent cervical cancer by getting HPV vaccine if she is age-eligible. Let every woman know that its important to get routine Pap smears. Let every woman know its important to get treatment if her Pap test is abnormal. Let every woman know that screening and treatment for cervical cancer is available for women who don’t have insurance.
Info retrieved from Cervical Cancer | CDC.