The cervix is a part of the female reproductive system, located below the uterus. The cervix connects the uterus to the vagina. At one point in the lives of most women, they develop cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in women.
Cancer of the cervix affects the cervical cells, and this is mostly due to an infection from specific human papillomavirus strains (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection. There are different ways to prevent cervical cancer, and they include the following.
Duringthe cervical screening, your healthcare provider can find pre-cancerous cells before they become severe and cause cancer. The screening, which is usually a Pap test, also called Pap smear and HPV test are the most common. If your Pap smear test finds pre-cancerous cells in your cervix, you can treat it before cervical cancer.
Get the HPV vaccine
The HPV vaccine, usually administered at a young age (11 or 12 years) helps protect against certain HPV strains that cause cervical cancer. The vaccine can also protect individuals from the strains of HPV that cause genital warts and anal cancer. It is best to get the vaccine for HPV before you get exposed to HPV through any form of sexual activity.
If you did not receive the vaccine as a child, you could still get it before you turn 26. However, getting the vaccine at an older age is less effective compared to getting it before engaging in any sexual activity.
Limit your exposure to HPV
Transmission of HPV is through direct sexual contact between an infected person and someone healthy. You can limit your risk of getting HPV by limiting the number of persons you engage in sexual activities with. You can also limit your risk of exposure to HPV by avoiding sexual contact with those who have multiple sex partners.
The HPV is prevalent in sexually active persons, so having one sex partner may still put you at risk of contracting HPV because someone can get infected with HPV and show no symptoms for years.Your sex partner can have HPV and not know.
Always use a condom
Condoms help to provide a form of protection against HPV and other STIs and STDs like HIV.
Smoking increases your risk of developing HPV infection, which may lead to cancer of the cervix.
Why should I get a smear test?
A smear or Pap test is a screening that checks for abnormal cervical cells. During a Pap smear test, your healthcare provider will collect the cells in your cervix to check for cancer and pre-cancerous cells.
Cervical cancer is the only completely preventable cancer, and this is possible if you detect the cancerous cells at an early stage. Most women who have invasive cervical cancer are those who do not have regular smear tests.
Ensure you get your regular smear test to avoid having an untreatable cervical cancer. If you are residing in London, you can call on 020 7183 0435 or book an appointment online for private smear test at Gynaecology Clinic to prevent cervical cancer.