How to Prevent Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that affects the cervix. This type of cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer, however not all cases can be prevented. Typically, preventing cervical cancer is a matter of making certain lifestyle changes and personal decisions.
Getting an annual pap smear is an effective means of preventing cervical cancer because a pap smear can detect pre-cancerous conditions. It can also detect cancer in its early stages when obtained annually. Women should begin getting pap smears either when they become sexually active or at eighteen years old. Women with a family history of cervical cancer may need to start getting them at sixteen years of age.
Women who have many sexual partners are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer than those who have little to no sexual partners. Women with many sexual partners increase their risk of developing HPV which is known to cause this type of cancer. Women who are abstinent have an even lower risk of developing this type of cancer.
Women who smoke or those who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke have a greater risk of developing cervical cancer. Their risk for this cancer decreases if they quit smoking and the risk is lower for women who have never smoked. Women who have an HPV infection and smoke are at the greatest risk because this combination can speed up cervical dysplasia.
Women who are sexually active and are not practicing safe sex are at a greater risk of developing cervical cancer. Not using condoms puts a woman at a greater risk of developing HPV and other STD's. HPV can cause cervical cancer and having an STD can greatly increase a woman's risk of developing this type of cancer.
Certain herbs may also prove useful for preventing cervical cancer. These herbs help to flush out cancer-causing toxins and boost the immune system resulting in a decreased cancer risk. The herbs that may help to prevent cervical cancer include aloe juice, green tea and astragalus.
The HPV vaccine can help to decrease a woman's chance of developing cervical cancer. This vaccine is available for girls and women ages nine through twenty-seven. This vaccine is said to be most effective when administered before a woman becomes sexually active.
MayoClinic.com. (2009). Cervical Cancer. Retrieved on November 20, 2010 from MayoClinic.com: https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cervical-cancer/DS00167
MedlinePlus. (2009). Cervical Cancer. Retrieved on November 20, 2010 from MedlinePlus: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000893.htm
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