Shared 1 year ago• Featured Tip
Cervical cancer (a malignant tumor of the cervix, the lowermost part of the uterus) is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Because of the Pap smear test, the number of cervical cancer cases has actually dropped over the past 20 years. However, many women still develop cervical cancer.
While some cases of cervical cancer cannot be prevented, there are many things a woman can do to reduce her risk of developing cervical cancer.
Reduce Your Risk of Cervical Cancer:
Get a regular Pap smear - A Pap smear can be the greatest defense against cervical cancer. It can detect cervical changes early on before they have a chance to turn into cancer.
Limit the number of sexual partners you have - Studies have shown that women who have many sexual partners increase their risk for cervical cancer. You also increase your risk of developing HPV, which has been shown to lead to cervical cancer.
Quit smoking or avoid secondhand smoke - Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of developing many cancers, including cervical cancer.
If you are sexually active, use a condom - Having unprotected sex puts you at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which can increase your risk factor for developing cervical cancer.
Follow up on abnormal Pap smears - If you have had an abnormal Pap smear, it is important to follow up with regular Pap smears or colposcopies, and whatever else your doctor has recommended for you. If you have been treated for cervical dysplasia, you still need to follow up with Pap smears or colposcopies.
Get the HPV vaccine - If you are under 27, you may be eligible to receive the HPV vaccine, which prevents high-risk strains of HPV in women. The vaccine is most effective when given to young women before they become sexually active.
Again, cervical cancer prevention should be a top priority for all women. Small lifestyle adjustments, combined with regular medical care, can go a long way in preventing cervical cancer.