Cervical cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer affecting women. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it’s one of the four most frequent cancers in women. In 2018, there were 570,000 cases.
If diagnosed early enough, it can be successfully treated. Lack of screening awareness and access is why 90% of all cervical cancer-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
To promote awareness about cervical cancer and the importance of screenings, January was named Cervical Health Awareness Month. Here are five facts you should know about cervical cancer screenings:
- Cervical cancer continues to be a problem – It’s estimated approximately 13,240 women will have developed invasive cervical cancer in 2019 alone. There will have been about 4,170 deaths from cervical cancer this year.
- Most cervical cancers are caused by HPV – Human Papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cells to become cancer cells. There are over 150 strains of HPV, but only 13 of them can lead to cervical cancer.
- HPV vaccinations are available – An HPV vaccination can protect you from HPV infection and help greatly reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
- Routine pap tests help detect cervical cancer – A pap test can identify precancerous conditions of the cervix. This means if conditions are present, they can be monitored and treated to prevent cervical cancer from developing. Women should begin having pap smears done at the age of 21 and continue to get them as recommended by their doctors.
- Safe sex can reduce risk – Because HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, practicing safe sex can help prevent HPV. This greatly reduces the risk of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer continues to be an issue among women even though it is preventable and treatable. Make sure you and the women you love schedule a cervical cancer screening regularly. For more health news, visit The Benefits Store today.