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Q & A's on Cervical Cancer Awareness and Prevention - Healthy News For A Healthy You

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Q & A's on Cervical Cancer Awareness and Prevention

The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports increase detection and prevention of cervical cancer with regular pap examinations. The ACS notes, “If detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.” The National Cancer Institute (NCI) defines cervical cancer as malignant cells (cancer-causing cells) that form in the tissues of the cervix. The NCI notes 12,360 new cases and 4,020 deaths related to cervical cancer in the United States in 2014. Let’s explore common Q & A’s on cervical cancer.

Are there risk factors leading to cervical cancer?

According to the ACS, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the leading cause of cervical cancer. HPV is spread through direct skin contact in oral and sexual intercourse, and can cause cancer in both men and women.

The ACS comments further on HPV:

Doctors believe that a woman must be infected with HPV in order to develop cervical cancer… Infection with HPV is common, and in most people the body can clear the infection by itself. Sometimes, however, the infection does not go away and becomes chronic. Chronic infection, especially when it is caused by certain high-risk HPV types, can eventually cause certain cancers, such as cervical cancer.

Other risk factors of cervical cancer include smoking, immunosuppression, chlamydia infection, poor diet, long-term use of certain contraceptives, multiple full-term pregnancies, having a family history of the disease, and others. Please visit the ACS website for more information on cervical cancer risk factors.

Can I prevent cervical cancer?

There are ways to prevent HPV infection and other risk factors causing cervical cancer. HPV is a virus transmitted through sexual contact that not only affects females, but males as well. As described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The HPV vaccine works by preventing the most common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and genital warts. It is given as a 3-dose vaccine.” Others proactive measures include annual or periodic pap examinations (as recommended by your gynecologist), eating nutritious foods high in antioxidants, practicing safe sex and using protection, and getting tested for STD’s if having multiple sex partners.

What are common signs and symptoms of cervical cancer?

1. Abnormal vaginal bleeding unrelated to menstruation.

2. Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area.

4. Pain during sexual intercourse.

5. Abnormal vaginal discharge.

To learn more on signs and symptoms related to cervical cancer visit WebMD.

What are some treatment options for cervical cancer?

Treatment options are highly influenced by the individual’s health needs, symptoms, and stage of cancer. Your practitioner may choose one or a combination of treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgical hysterectomy (removal of partial or entire uterus).

There are community support programs and resources available that a social worker or practitioner can provide. Understanding risk factors and maintaining healthy lifestyle choices is key in cancer prevention. The ACS provides a Prevention Checklist for Women, to review any possible risk factors that can lead to cervical cancer. To learn more please click here.

* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.

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Yeneilyn is a Registered Nurse in the state of Florida since 2006. Her nursing practice began in the field of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Hospital and expanded to care for clients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She was provided the opportunity as LPN Instructor, which changed the course of her nursing career. She states, “Teaching nursing students expanded my view on positive influences nurses contribute beyond beside care. Nurses are central leaders in health education, client advocacy, and disease prevention.” Currently, Yeneilyn writes health articles and prepares Continuing Education (C.E.) courses for healthcare professionals. She continues her studies in the field of Nursing Education and evidenced-based nursing practice. In her free time she enjoys sharing time with family and friends.

For questions or topics of interest contact Nurse Yenny at:    




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