Cervical cancer is a common affliction that affects many women.
According to cancer.net, last 2016 an estimated 12,990 women in the United States would be diagnosed with cervical cancer. This form of cancer had an estimated fatality count of up to 4,120.
Fortunately, unlike most other types of cancer, cervical cancer can easily be avoided.
In a report by ABS-CBN news, gynecologist and oncologist Dr. Joy Garcia says that women between the ages of 15 to 44 have a risk of cervical cancer.
Dr. Garcia adds that sex has a factor in cervical cancer development.
“Ang pinakarason kung bakit nagkaka-cervical cancer ay dahil sa HPV (human papillomavirus). Nakukuha siya dahil sa pakikipagtalik,” Dr. Garcia says.
A sure way to avoid cervical cancer is through vaccination against HPV.
According to Dr. Garcia, “As early as 9 years old, before sexual exposure, binibigay na ‘yung vaccine na ‘yun para mataas na ‘yung protection ng babaeng ‘yun.”
Even if a woman has been exposed to sexual acts, she still has a better chance of avoiding the illness if she gets vaccinated.
“Women na nagkaroon na ng sexual exposure, maganda pa rin ang level of protection kung ngayon pa lang siya magpapa-vaccinate,” Dr. Garcia said.
“Kahit anong age. Meron kasing three brands in the market, pero ang pinakacommon, walang age limit,” she added.
Cervical cancer can easily be prevented if detected early on. One way to find out if a woman is at risk is by going through a yearly pap smear. Annual trips to the doctor for a pap-smear is the surest way to find cervical cancer before it starts.
According to Dr. Garcia, women who have had intimate contact should consider going to three separate pap smears after the first time they’ve had these encounters.
“Kung nagkaroon na ng sexual contact ‘yung babae na ‘yun, 3 years after that, dapat nagsa-start na siyang magpa-pap smear every year until she is 65 to 70 years,” Dr. Garcia says.
Dr. Garcia added that sometimes the female body’s immune system is strong enough to expel these cancer cells by itself.
“Yung immune system niya, kakalabanin ‘yung virus, ita-try na paalisin sa katawan niya. ‘Pag hindi successful, in 10 to 15 years, pwedeng magka-cervical cancer ‘yung babaeng ‘yun.”
Those women discovered with pre-cervical cancer cells may undergo minor surgery or cryotherapy to treat these potentially dangerous cells.
The doctor says that women receiving such treatment can still get pregnant because their cervix is undergoing a healing process.