From various types of cancer that attack women, cervical cancer is one of the most common. In the US alone, more than 9,000 women are diagnosed with this cancer each year. While it may seem to be reducing in many parts of the world, cervical cancer is actually preventable, thanks to the development in medical field, Pap smear, and other women-related medical procedures.
Cervical cancer in adult years is inevitable in many cases, but women can still work to reduce the risk of getting this cancer.
Tips to Lower Cervical Cancer Risk
As a preventable cancer, cervical cancer risk can be reduced with legit methods you can do wherever you live. The American Cancer Society has several tips to reduce cervical cancer risk in adult women, such as:
Get Pap smear test regularly.
Pap smear is the ultimate test that helps you screening the risk of cervical cancer. This test can detect the cancer at very early stage, so the sooner you get tested, the better prognosis you have to get better if you actually have cancer risk. You are recommended to have this test every three years, starting from when your age is 20 or 21 years old. If you are already 30, you probably want to do HPV test with the Pap smear, for more complete screening.
Don’t ignore bad Pap smear result.
When your Pap smear test result comes out with abnormalities, don’t hesitate to follow the result up, no matter how small. Your doctor usually will give this recommendation if there are abnormalities, or if you have history of cervical dyslapsia.
HPV vaccine is a good idea.
HPV vaccine is available for people under 27 years old, and for women, it can reduce the HPV strain development. Meanwhile, for girls as young as 9 years old, there are vaccine options such as Gardasil. HPV vaccine is best taken before a woman becomes sexually active, which is great to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
Women should pay attention to these health aspects since young, to prevent conditions that are actually preventable, including cervical cancer. However, there are also behaviors that can reduce the risk of this cancer.
Low Risk Sexual Behaviors to Prevent Cervical Cancer
Being discerning and careful regarding of sexual behaviors is another key to reduce cervical cancer risk. Women who have a lot of sexual partners have higher risk in contracting cervical cancer, especially if they don’t practice safe sex. Good condoms are important for women who are sexually active; simple prevention that can reduce huge numbers of STDs and conditions, including HPV and cervical cancer. Ideally, women should know the sexual history of her partners before deciding to engage in sexual relationships.
Meanwhile, non-sexual habits such as smoking can add risk factors to the development of cervical cancer. In fact, if a woman already has HPV and she smokes a lot, this can speed up the process of cervical dyslapsia, which in turn develops into cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is a totally preventable condition, as long as you do everything you can to reduce the risk.