Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
For the entire month of January, the NCCC (National Cervical Cancer Coalition) aims to raise awareness about cervical cancer, as well as help individuals prevent this type of cancer in our own communities. The NCCC has many chapters across the country to help assist cities and local communities with events and other initiatives.
What Is Cervical Cancer?
Cancer begins when cells in your body starts to grow particularly fast. Cervical cancer defines the area of the body that the cancer cells are growing (as cancer can grow in any part of the body). Cervical cancer begins with the growth of cancerous cells in the lining of the cervix.
There are various “stages” of cervical cancer which do not directly involve cancerous cells. This makes it possible for the oncoming risk of cervical cancer to be detected in advance. When cervical cancer is detected in advance, there are better treatment options available and better odds of preventing cancer from developing.
How Can I Detect Early Stages of Cervical Cancer?
The earlier you get involved with trying to detect cervical cancer, the better your chances are of finding warning signs of cervical cancer’s earliest stages. One of the most common methods for detecting early stages of cervical cancer is a pap test. This allows a healthcare professional to recognize the earlier stages and can suggest treatment options to prevent it from developing fully into cervical cancer.
If you haven’t visited a healthcare professional for a pap test, we recommend that you schedule an appointment today. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, or to start earlier rather than later.
What’s the Best Way to Prevent Cervical Cancer?
Thankfully, it’s possible to prevent cervical cancer if you get started early enough. In order to have the best chances at fully preventing, you need to start as early as possible in order to detect cervical cancer in its earliest stages. In addition to the Pap test, you can also take an HPV test to help detect early stages of cervical cancer.
In order to further reduce the risk of cervical cancer, you will want to avoid any exposure to HPV, get an HPV vaccine, use protection to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections, and avoid smoking.
What Risks Increase the Chance of Having Cervical Cancer?
There are a variety of different risks associated with cervical cancer. Below is a non-exhaustive list of risks that increase your chances of cervical cancer or its earliest stages.
- Smoking (including second hand smoking)
- HPV Infection
- Family History of Cervical Cancer
- Avoiding Regular Pap Tests
- Teen Pregnancy
- Multiple Full-Term Pregnancies
- Being Overweight (adenocarcinoma development)
- Diet Choices (e.g., lower than average fruits and vegetables)
- And more
We recommend talking with your healthcare professional to learn more about potential risks in your lifestyle.
Contact us today to learn more about cervical cancer or to schedule a visit for pap tests and HPV tests to help detect any possible signs of early-stage cervical cancer.