The malignancy that develops in the cells present in the cervix uteri is known as cervical cancer. Vaginal bleeding is one of the most common symptoms of the disease but its asymptotic nature often makes the early detection and diagnosis difficult. In the earlier stages of cervical cancer, surgical interventions and procedures are carried out for treatment while radiology and chemotherapy are useful in the later stages.
The commonest forms of cervical cancer develop with certain pre-cancerous change. If the symptoms are detected at the right time, then proper steps can be taken for the prevention of the growth and advancement of the disease.
Another method of prevention of cervical cancer relates to the steps that need to be taken to prevent the symptoms that lead to the growth of pre cancerous cells.
How To Prevent Cervical Cancer
Screening and Testing for Cervical Cancer
The screening and testing methods for finding pre cancers before they develop into the advanced stages help in the early treatment and cure of the disease. The Human papilloma virus (HPV) test and the Pap smear test are the two most commonly used methods for the detection of cervical cancer.
According to the statistical studies, women who have gone through regular pap tests, stand a lesser chance of being diagnosed for cervical cancer.
The screening for cervical cancer should begin at the age of 21 years as per the recommendations of the American Cancer Society. The tests should be repeated every three years by women in the age group of 21-29 years. HPV tests in this period should be advised, only if there are abnormal reports linked with the screenings of cervical cancer. After the age of 30, women should undergo both the tests every 5 years until they reach the age of 65 years.
After the age of 65 years, the women who have undergone regular screening can stop further tests unless they have been diagnosed for any other serious pre- cancers in the preceding 20 years. In the event of the same, women should continue to carry on with the screenings for another 20 years.
If HPV vaccination has been administered at an earlier stage, then the HPV testing can be avoided. It is also important to note that the risks of cervical cancer do not terminate after the birth of children and regular testing and screenings should be conducted as per the guidelines.
It is usual for many women to go through routine health checks that contain pelvic examinations. There is a complete check up of the vulva, cervix, vagina, reproductive organs, ovaries, uterus and other tests for sexually transmitted diseases. If there are any problems detected at this stage, then the other tests and procedures can follow and treatment is done likewise.
Avoid being Exposed to HPV
One of the main causes associated with the development of cervical and pre cancer is HPV and if exposure to the same is avoided, then the chances of prevention of the disease, increases to a great extent.
It has been confirmed that some types of sexual behavior associated with younger women, such as indulging in sexual activity at a very young age, having multi partners, associating with uncircumcised males, intercourse with a partner who has indulged in sexual activities with many partners, etc can lead to HPV.
Limiting yourself to safe and protected sex and restricting the number of partners can prevent cervical cancer. It is important to know that HPV is contagious and skin to skin contact with infected portions is enough to pass on the disease.
The Usage of Condoms by the Partner as a Contraceptive Device
Condoms can act as a mode of prevention for many women during the performance of sexual acts. Women, who insist on the usage of condoms by their partners, have a reduced rate of HPV infection. However, condoms are not absolutely safe as the infection can be passed on by the male partner from other affected areas such as the anal or genital regions. Care should be taken to avoid HPV infection in all manners possible as it is one of the most important causes related to pre cancer and cervical cancer.
Smoking is one of the main causes of cancer and even though tobacco companies write the same on their products, people tend to ignore the warning and continue smoking.
To prevent pre cancer and cervical cancer, women must kick their smoking habits as early as possible.
Administration of Vaccines
It is important to consult the doctor about the various vaccinations available for providing protection from HPV infections. Gardasil and Cervarix are two vaccinations that have found approval by the FDA in the United States. According to the recommendations by medical experts, these vaccinations are used for prevention and not for cure. It is important to administer them at an age where sexual activities are yet to begin, to avoid future complications and medical problems.
Well, women do not have to be distressed about the treatment of cervical cancer as the malignancy spreads very slowly after HPV infection. If checked and detected at the right time, pre cancer does not evolve into full fledged cancer in the cervical region.
The important point to be noted is that in spite of the vaccinations available for the prevention of HPV that leads to cervical cancer, the lack of awareness about the same and several myths associated with the administration of the vaccine, are still discouraging women from visiting their nearest clinic. As a result more than 1/4th million die from the disease every year and the numbers of the cases diagnosed for cervical cancer are also scaling newer heights.
The modern vaccination and screening methods deliver speedy results and it is really not important to travel to a sophisticated diagnostic or medical center for its administration. Several groups and activists such as PATH are spreading the awareness about these vaccines and methods of avoiding the disease. Prevention is definitely better than cure and cervical cancer and pre cancer can be prevented in the present world ,by taking the correct and timely steps.
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