Cervical cancer is a highly preventable type of cancer and not only can women diagnose it even before it develops but they can also easily prevent it through a balanced lifestyle and a careful monitoring of their health. There’s also a vaccine available that fights off HPV strains 16 and 18. These two out of many other HPV strains have been linked to more than 90% of the cases of cervical cancer. They have been shown to disrupt the balance of normal cells replacing rates by making them grow and divide out of control or by causing warts and other precancerous lesions. Soon enough the cancerous cells constitute solid masses known as tumors that can grow and spread to other parts of the body limiting treatment and reducing the chances for survival.
HPV, The Human Papiloma Virus, is a sexually transmitted virus that is popularly believed to be the cause for cervical cancer. However, though it is present in 90% o the cancers and can lead to warts and displasya, not all its strains are harmful and there’s still a percentage of women that develop the cancer without being infected with the virus. We could better say that HPV is one of the most important risk factors in developing cervical cancer.
The link to HPV has gained a reputation for cervical cancer that relates it to STD (sexually transmitted diseases). This just adds to the stigmatization of cervical cancer patients and is very harmful through the fact that it can make people link it to promiscuity and patients to feel ashamed. Some young women have even been found not to have admitted the infection to her parents and it useless to stress what this could mean for somebody in terms of complications and dysplasia left untreated.
It’s true that HPV is sexually transmissive and that it can also be transmitted through other kinds of sexual relations, not just the the usual sexual intercourse. You can get it from oral sex and anal sex just as easily. Sure enough, you should be careful and realize that multiple sexual partners and unprotected sex can increase your risks for developing the cancer. Even using protection can sometimes not be enough to keep you from becoming infected with HPV so the wisest thing would be a balanced sex life and careful choices of partners.
Though you can risk a lot by dismissing sexual intercourse as a cause leading to cancer, there’s always the choice for regular screening tests that can make HPV infections harmless by detecting them or a precancerous condition early, at a point where they are 100% curable. Still, close to 13,500 women develop cervical cancer every year and approximately 4,500 of them die from it. By taking no chances and by choosing a lifestyle that shows you are grateful for your health and aware of the dangers lurking around, you can have a cancer free life. Don’t be too quick to judge others either. Cervical cancer should unite women and not banish the ones struggling with it. If you make it anything close to a tabu, screening will drop and incidence will rise again.