Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer are detected each year in the United States. Fortunately, thanks to routine screening and vaccination, these numbers are decreasing every year. Cervical cancer can be extremely serious with just a small percentage of patients surviving past five years after their diagnosis. However, there are many ways that you can reduce your risk of developing this disease. Check out this article to learn more about how you can prevent cervical cancer.
Understand the risk factors of cervical cancer
There are many risk factors for cervical cancer. The most important ones are - Having multiple sexual partners. Having a sexual partner who has been sexually active with multiple partners. Having an HPV infection. Being over the age of 35. Having a weakened immune system. Smoking cigarettes. Drinking alcohol. However, there are still many women who don't have any of these risk factors and still develop cervical cancer. This is why it is important to get regular screenings.
Know your body, and get regular screenings
Regular pap smear screenings are the most effective way of detecting cervical cancer. This test can detect a number of abnormalities, including early signs of cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women between the ages of 21 and 65 get a pap smear every three years. If you are over the age of 30 and have a history of abnormal pap smears, you should get screened every year. Women over the age of 65 who have had normal pap smears for many years do not need to be screened. Cervical cancer is a slow-growing disease, so it can take many years to develop. This means that regular screenings can be very effective at detecting the disease early, when it is easiest to treat.
There are two different vaccines available to prevent cervical cancer. The first is the HPV vaccine, which can prevent both cervical and other types of cancers. The second is the Pap Smear Vaccine, which can prevent women from getting false positive test results on their Pap smears. These vaccines are recommended for women between the ages of 9 and 26. Speak with your doctor if you are interested in getting these vaccines.
Increase your Vitamin D levels
A study has found that women with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to develop cervical cancer. This is especially true for women who also had an HPV infection. The best way to increase your Vitamin D levels is to spend a few minutes outside every day without sunscreen. If you cannot get enough sun due to your occupation, diet, or living in a very cloudy area, you may need to take a Vitamin D supplement.
Stay healthy with a healthy diet and exercise
There is no single food or vitamin that can prevent cervical cancer, but a healthy diet and exercise can help you stay healthy in general. This helps you avoid other diseases that can increase your risk of developing cervical cancer, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.