January is Cervical Health Awareness Month (2014)

Cervical Health Awareness
According to www.cancer.org, Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. But over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%. The latest statistics tells us that out of all diagnosed with cervical cancer, almost one third of them die from the disease. Although the number of deaths is still big, the decrease in deaths is a good sign.

There are more than 100 different types of HPV, many of which are harmless. However, some types of HPV can disrupt the normal functioning of the cells of the cervix and can eventually trigger the onset of cancer.

Here are some facts you should know about cervical cancer:

  • Cervical cancer is a highly preventable kind of disease.
  • Cervical cancer screenings should be conducted beginning the age of 21, or within three years of the first sexual encounter.
  • With regular screening tests called Pap tests or Pap smear examination, cervical cancer can be often prevented. Having the benefits of being screened and having the examination can give you peace of mind on not having the chance of getting this disease.
  • Certain dietary patterns such as low intake of fruits and vegetables may also be a risk factor for cervical cancer.
  • While long-term infection is necessary for cervical cancer to develop, the vast majority of women with persistent high-risk infection do not develop cervical cancer.
  • Causes of cervical cancer can be from, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), oral contraceptives and  excessive smoking.

Awareness makes a difference

Having January as the Cervical Health Awareness Month can make a difference in the huge number of cancer patients who are still suffering from this illness.

This will also encourage every woman to take regular screenings and be more mindful about this type of cancer. It is also important for the older ones with children on their own to educate their offsprings.

What you can do

There are social media campaigns out there you can join – in the UK, there’s #smearforsmear which promotes the importance of pap tests for early detection of cervical cancer.

Talking about it can also help, you might have friends who are not aware of the risk factors of cervical cancer, and who turn a blind eye or ignore their own pap test schedules. Your own community can hold its own awareness campaign – nothing is too small for such a disease as cancer.

Lily (not real name), was a blooming pregnant woman towards her 4th month when the doctors diagnosed her with cervical cancer. Due to this she had to terminate her pregnancy and receive treatment. The treatments then led her to no longer be able to bear children. If only she had not skipped her pap test schedule, then they could have diagnosed it earlier, when she was not pregnant.

Celebrating an awareness like this will help to enhance and disseminate the information that is necessary for the public to know. We do not want more lives to be at risk. Get Involved for we can make a better difference.

Img c/o Pixabay.

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