How to reduce the risk of Cervical cancer?
All women are at risk of getting cervical cancer. It is most likely to occur in woman over the age of 30. However, it is one of the easiest cancers to eliminate if treated in an early stage. The cervix is located on the lower end of the uterus. Also known as the womb, it is where the baby grows when a woman is pregnant. 99% of cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV) which is acquired through sexual contact. According to the World Health Organisation, cancer of the cervix is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide. Here are ways to prevent this:
1. Ask for HPV Vaccines
2. Get Pap smear tests
3. Practice safe sex
4. Don’t smoke
Luckily in the UAE, hospitals and clinics offer both HPV vaccines and Pap tests. It is advisable for women to start getting tested for cervix cancer from the age of 21 and onward to reduce the risk of the development of the pre-cancer cells to cancerous cells.
HPV vaccines – protects women by getting HPV infection and reducing cervical cancer by 90% according to The United States National Cancer Institute.
Pap Smear tests – are done by a gynecologist and it’s a simple test where a swab is placed in the cervix to collect cells and mucus to be analysed for the presence of high-risk HPV cells and pre-cancer changes in the cervix.