Prevention is better than cure, therefore the best way on how to prevent cervical cancer is very crucial.
Cervical cancer has been common of late. It causes severe pelvic pain or pain during intercourse.
Cervical cancer is caused by abnormal cell division around the cervix.
This type of cancer is mainly contributed by human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection.
However, HPV can be prevented to reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer.
This article provides some of the most important tips on how to prevent cervical cancer.
What causes cervical cancer?
Many women ask what really causes cervical cancer. The truth is cervical cancer is almost always caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
This is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections globally. It affects millions of people.
In fact, HPV can be detected in 93 percent of all cervical cancers across the world.
Some believe that HPV is the only cause of cervical cancer. No, the virus alone is not sufficient to cause cervical cancer, there are other contributing factors include the following factors(1):
- Multiple sex-partners
- Poor nutrition
- A weakened immune system
In fact, Summer Dewdney, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at Rush University Medical Center on his study found that HPV is very common and up to 80 percent of sexually active people have been exposed at some point in their lives to Human Papillomavirus (3)
However, the vast majority never develop any symptoms, and the body’s immune system can usually clear HPV on its own within two years.
In some women, however, certain strains of HPV cause changes to the cells in the cervix, which then can become cancerous.
This predisposing factors to cervical cancer should be keenly fixed to reduce the risk of the development of cancer.
Here are tips to prevent cervical cancer
Get HPV vaccination
The human papillomavirus is a major cause of cervical cancer.
Therefore, early HPV vaccination can fight off the infection of HPV.
Which will, in turn, reduces both chances of developing HPV and cervical cancer.
In fact, the HPV vaccine helps protect you against certain types of HPV that can lead to cancer or genital warts.
Also known by the brand name Gardasil 9, the HPV vaccine protects against HPV types 16 and 18; the 2 types that cause 80% of cervical cancer cases.
Therefore, by taking current HPV vaccination programs then, several women may reduce the rate of cervical cancer occurrence.
The vaccination is most appropriate at the age of 11-12 years old; however, you can have various types of vaccinations. Currently, there are three types of vaccinations namely(5):
- Gardasil 9
Practicing safe sex
One of the most crucial tips on how to prevent cervical cancer is practicing safe sex through the uses of the condom.
You will reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer and HPV as well. The fact is, only two strains are prevented by the HPV vaccine.
The remaining strains can lead to cervical cancer.
Therefore, practicing safe sex help you stay healthy and safe from cervical cancer and other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, gonorrhea and even HIV and HPV.
Regular medical checkup
Regular cervical screening or Pap test helps in the identification of any signs of cancerous cells.
However, you need to note that screening does not detect cervical cancer but determine any changes to the cervical cells
Avoid multiple sex partners
This is a very important way of how to prevent cervical cancer. Study shows that a person with several sex partners at the same time(10).
For instance, three ladies with one man or three men with one lady, increases the chances of infected with HPV, HIV and developing cancer.
Therefore, you need to have one sex partner for your own safety.
In addition, having multiple sex partners may expose you to other STIs; this can even worsen your health condition(11).
Avoid sex at a younger age
Having sex at a younger age increases your risk of HPV infection.
A study shows that most women who had their first sex at younger age developed HPV as compare to those that did not(13).
In addition, early childbearing can also increase your chances of developing cervical cancer.
The longer a woman delays involving in sexual intercourse, the lower her risk of being infected by HPV.
Therefore, young ladies are advised to prolong having their first sexual intercourse at a tender age.
Smoking negatively affects your blood flow and can cause impairments in blood circulation.
Smoking also reduces the immune system, therefore, increasing the risk of developing cervical cancer.
For instance, a study reveals that women who smoke a cigarette and have HPV are likely to develop cervical cancer as compared to those who have HPV and doesn’t smoke.
In the cases of persistent HPV-infected women, heavy smoking led to a higher risk for CIN3+ than those women who never smoked(16) .
Actually, smoking leads to an enhanced risk of high-grade cervical lesions in persistent high-risk HPV-infected women.
Therefore, it is important to stop smoking to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
Boost your immune system by eating a balanced diet
The weak immune system makes you susceptible to be infected with HPV.
This may be a result of previous medical treatments such as organ transplants.
Therefore, you need to eat a well-balanced diet to boost your immune system.
Food rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammation, and anticancer properties may help protect you against HPV and other chronic illnesses.
Boosting your immune system is on way on how to prevent cervical cancer.
A void sex drugs
Sex drugs may cause, flushing, headaches, visual changes, upset stomach, nasal congestion and other chronic illness like cervical cancer.
In addition, sex drugs can lead to vigorous sex that might result in injuries of the reproductive system of both males and females.
This can lead to infection of STIs.
Study shows that most sex workers, specifically women who use sex drugs are more likely to develop cervical cancer.
Use prescribes sex drugs only if you are suffering from erectile dysfunction and have advice from the doctor.
Avoid Long term use of oral contraceptives
Overtime use of oral contraceptives is linked to HPV and cervical cancer.
Study reveals that most women who use contraceptive are likely to develop cervical cancer as compared to those that do not.
Actually, oral contraceptives might increase the risk of cervical cancer by changing the susceptibility of cervical cells to persistent infection with high-risk HPV types and also suppressing endometrial cell proliferation (endometrial cancer)(18)
However, the risk drops quickly once the pill is stopped.
Furthermore, the long-term use of birth control pills also slightly raises your risk for developing blood clots and heart attack after the age of 35(20).
The risk is higher if you also have: high blood pressure. a history of heart disease.
Therefore, you need to avoid the use of the contraceptives if possible.
Maintain a healthy weight
Overweight and obesity are linked to cervical cancer.
Actually, overweight women are at high risk of cervical cancer as shown in most studies.
An excessive fat deposit has been shown to increase levels of estrogen, leading to the development of endometrial and cervical cancer.
Specifically, a subtype of cancer called adenocarcinoma.
Unhealthy weight gain can cause fat deposit in the body, which can cause cancer.
Therefore, maintain a healthy weight by doing regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet.
Summing it up
Cervical cancer is real, therefore you need to stay safe by following the above tips.
Avoid multiple sex partners, quit smoking, avoid alcohol, get a vaccination against HPV and use a condom to continue living cervical cancer-free.
In case of any unusual condition in your genital parts, visit a doctor for assistance.