Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the cervix of a woman. The cervix refers to the lower part of the uterus (womb) which opens at the end of the vaginal passage. Cervical cancer happens to be the third most prevalent cause of cancer in women all over the world. It used to affect women of age 30-69, though the statistics have shifted in the years. Now, it may be detected in a young girl as young as 15 years of age!
In the past year, tremendous efforts have been made in order to eradicate and reduce its incidence and mortality of cervical cancer. It has been assisted with the implementation of different prevention and screening strategies.
India alone accounts for one-fourth of the global burden of cervical cancer. Despite the rampant availability of information on topics regarding secondary healthcare and the stigma related to it being lifted off, a large section of urban women have little to no clue about cervical cancer. However, unlike other forms of cancer, this type might be a little less daunting, if tackled at the early stages. The brighter side of this type of cancer is that it is often detectable on screening and can be prevented.
This article particularly sheds light on why cervical cancer screening is of utmost importance and everything else you need to know regarding this cancerous disease.
The most common, perhaps all cervical cancers are caused by a virus named Human papillomavirus. It is referred to as HPV more commonly.
Some things that you must know about HPV are:
- It is most commonly spread through sexual contact.
- Not at all types of HPV pose a direct threat. The ones that do are called high-risk type of HPV.
- Other types of HPV cause genital warts.
HPV can also be passed from person to person even when there are no visible warts or other symptoms.
Now that the concept of HPV is discussed, it’s time we ventured into why screening for cervical cancer is extremely helpful and preventive.
Regular cervical cancer screening is said to protect 30% more women according to the National Cervical Cancer Program of Australia. Cervical screening is more effective compared to a pap smear because it does not detect changes in the cervix instead, detects the Human papillomavirus which causes cancer. The HPV is a type of virus that is very common and is responsible for causing cancer. Screening for cervical cancer turns out to be extremely safe and holds a higher value in terms of prevention of cervical cancer. It’s also highly recommended that women screen themselves as early as 14 or before they become sexually active.
As rampant as Cervical Cancer may be, it is ideal for responsible parents and women to ensure that routine screening is done. This not only helps in early detection of the disease but can aid in further prevention of any risks attached to cancer.