||Adeyemo Gabriel [ profile ]
Cervical Cancer Awareness & Screening Month
Jan 25th, 2011 - 04:47:19
Are we all aware that the month of January marks the month for Cervical Cancer awareness and screening?
All ladies here please get screened this month, it is very important. Inform your friends, sisters, aunts, mum, etc. Guys, please remind your girl friends, sisters, mum, aunts, etc to get screened of this disease before its too late.
Here is a brief info about this cancer.
What is the Cervix? (In layman terms)
The cervix is the lower part of the womb, the passage through which all humans are born.
What is Cancer of the Cervix?
Cancer of the cervix occurs when the cells of the cervix change, this change can affect deeper cell layers or spread to other organs and cause damage.
Cervical cancer kills about eight thousand (8,000) Nigerian women annually! Yet it is the only form of cancer that is preventable if quickly detected.
What causes Cervical Cancer?
Cancer of the cervix is caused by a virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is sexually transmitted but can also be spread by intimate skin-to-skin contact. When HPV infects the cells of the cervix, it causes them to change; the change is slow and takes between 5-30 years to become cancer. During the period of slow change, the cells of the cervix are called pre-cancerous cells or dysplastic cells.
If the pre-cancerous changes are found and treated early, women who have it can be completely cured!
Cancer of the cervix can occur at any age. It is found most often in women older than 35 years, but can occur in younger women. Your risk for cancer of the cervix depends on your sexual history, your immune system, your health, and your lifestyle.
You have an increased risk if you:
• Have not been getting routine cervical screening tests.
• Have had sex with more than 1 person or have a male sexual partner who has sex with more than 1 person (the more partners you have, the higher the risk).
• First had sex at an early age (younger than 18 years).
• Have a male sexual partner who has had a sexual partner with cervical cancer.
• Have Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
The pre-cancerous stage and early cancer of the cervix often have no symptoms. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer cells have already spread.
When symptoms do occur, the first signs may be vaginal bleeding in between your normal menstrual periods, spotting, watery foul smelling discharge from the vagina, bleeding may occur after sex.
Most of the time, these signs are caused by other health problems besides cancer. However, if you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor.
Signs of advanced cancer can include pain, problem urinating, and swollen legs.
These symptoms do not always mean cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor without delay.
How can you prevent cancer of the cervix?
• Regular cervical screening and early treatment of pre-cancerous changes is the only 100% sure way to prevent cervical cancer. Regular screening annually, once in three years or even once in five years provides adequate protection.
• Abstinence: This can reduce your chances of getting HPV but doesn’t provide 100% protection.
Pap’s smear screening can identify potentially precancerous changes. Treatment of high grade changes can prevent the development of cancer. In developed countries, the widespread use of cervical screening programs has reduced the incidence of invasive cervical cancer by 50% or more.
Yours' in Prevention Science
Adeyemo Damilare Gabriel
Regional Focal Point - West Africa
Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AID
+234-80-6798-7317 | gabriel (at) gyca.org
www.gyca.org | www.tigweb.org
GYCA is a youth-led global network of more than 4,500 young leaders and adult allies working on youth and HIV/AIDS in 150 countries world-wide. GYCA's mission is to empower young leaders with the skills, knowledge, resources and opportunities they need to scale up HIV/AIDS interventions amongst their peers.