5 facts about cervical cancer

Cervical cancer affects a lot of women around the world but very little is really known about it. To learn more about the nature of the cancer, how to prevent it and where to get help, read below.

HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer in the world

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that affects the cervix (a tissue between the uterus and your vagina). While certain strains of the HPV are harmless and can be beaten by a strong immune system, there are also strains that cause cancer.

Keep in mind that HPV doesn’t just affect women, men can also get infected by with it during unprotected sex.

It’s possible to prevent cervical cancer

Cervical cancer can be prevented as it’s typically caused by HPV. The best way to prevent it is to get an HPV vaccine. The HPV vaccine helps your body to create antibodies that fight the virus by boosting your immune system.

The vaccine is issued two to three times during the course of a year and it’s advised that you get all the shots. You and your partner can get the shots together to reduce the risk of transmission.

There are no early signs of Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a tough disease to detect early on. Most people who develop it find out at a later stage through symptoms like vaginal bleeding after sex, between periods or after menopause. Some women experience watery, bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy, with an odour. Some experience pelvic pain or pain during sex. If you or someone you know has these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

All women of all ages are at risk of cervical cancer

Remember that the common cause of cervical cancer is HPV, which is preventable by vaccine. Women of any age can develop cancerous cells in the cervix, which is why it’s important to get your HPV vaccines, if you haven’t already.

Smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer

People who smoke (tobacco and other drugs) tend to have a weaker immune system than those who don’t. A weaker immune system makes it difficult to beat diseases, which is why it’s important to work on quitting, if you are a smoker or drug user.

It’s important for you to prioritise your cervical health, Choma.  Prevent cervical cancer by practicing safe sex, getting an HPV vaccine and regular sexual health screenings, like a pap smear. If you’ve never had one done before, simply go to your local clinic or doctor to get yourself tested.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).