- The author of this article is Dr Sheetal Agarwal Gynaecologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Delhi
Cervical cancer cases are increasing at an alarming rate in the country as this type of cancer is commonly seen in women. Did you know? Screening can help prevent cervical cancer. Yes, that’s right! Screening can help spot abnormal changes in the cervix, and a woman can get prompt treatment. Read on to know more about the importance of screening when it comes to cervical cancer. Also, immediately opt for it, if you still haven’t. After all, it’s a matter of your well-being, and you cannot neglect it, right?
Women, do you encounter pelvic pain after intercourse? Or is there any abnormal vaginal discharge? Then, you need to beware! This can indicate cervical cancer. Yes, you have heard us here! Did you know? Cervical cancer starts from the cervix of a womanwhich is the lower end of the womb (uterus). Human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, is the main cause of this cancer. Other risk factors that can make you fall prey to this type of cancer are having sex at an early age that raises the chances of one suffering from HPV infection, smoking, having chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV and Aids, age, a weak immune system, multiple partners and unmonitored use of birth control pills. The symptoms of it are vaginal and pelvic pain after intercourse and foul vaginal discharge. Screening can help one to prevent cervical cancer, and save lives.
This is why screening is essential to detect cervical cancer
Screening is widely done to look for precancerous changes or early cancers before signs or symptoms of cancer tend to appear. There is still a lack of awareness regarding cervical cancer, and women fail to come and speak out in open due to fear. But, they should be encouraged to go for a regular screening right from the age of 21-65, after every three years. Here, we tell you about basic cervical cancer screening.
· Pap test: Also known as a Pap smear is a test to spot early changes in cells that can turn cancerous. Here, the sample of cells from the cervix is taken for checking. A Pap test is also combined with an HPV test.
· HPV test: While performing it, a sample of cells is removed from the cervix, and is examined for the strains of HPV most commonly linked to cervical cancer. One can only do an HPV test or combine it with a Pap test.
· Vaccination : Now vaccines have come against cervical cancer which are both bivalent and quadrivalent to give protection not only against cervical cancer but also against genital warts. It’s a course of three doses given over a period of 6 months from the age of 9 to 45 years
The last word: You need to speak to your doctor regarding cervical cancer screening and follow a proper schedule. Do not neglect your health, and miss your screening routine as doing so can be fatal for you. Be vigilant about your health, and do not take your health lightly.