Cervical cancer is the third most common form of cancer worldwide, and more than seventy percent of cases can be attributed to the human papillomavirus (HPV). What are you doing to protect yourself against cervical cancer?
One of the known ways through which one can prevent the onset of cervical cancer is through vaccination. Dr. Vivien Brown, branch president for the Toronto Federation of Medical Women of Canada and prominent advocate of the prevention and screening of cervical cancer, said: “What is so exciting about human papillomavirus [HPV] vaccine is that we now have an understanding of the link between a virus, an infection, and the cause of a cancer.”
Dr. Brown shared further: “By vaccinating, we are not simply preventing infection, as we do with measles, for example, we are preventing an actual cancer. So the aim in women and men is not only to pick up disease early when it is still treatable, but to prevent it entirely, to block inception.”
If one does get diagnosed with cervical cancer, the prognosis is usually promising for as long as it is detected early. Cases of cervical cancer saw a dramatic decline after the simple test called Papanicolau smear, or “Pap smear,” was introduced.
Pap tests are recommended for women upon reaching the age of 21, regardless of whether she has engaged in penetrative intercourse or not. If one becomes sexually active before the age of 21, it is recommended that one should begin Pap smears three years after the start of intercourse.