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What you need to know to reduce your risk of cervical cancer

by , 26 June 2013

R&B singer Puff Johnson has died after a long battle with cervical cancer. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2008. The death of the songbird has raised the issue of cervical cancer among many women. Here's what you must know about cervical cancer so you can take steps to reduce your risk.

According to the Mayo Clinic, cervical cancer, otherwise known as cervix cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix –the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.

About 500,000 new cases of cervix cancer and 250,000 deaths are recorded each year.

But what causes cervical cancer?

According to The Nelson Mandela University, the causes of cervical cancer include the following:
  • Starting sexual activity before the age of 18 years.
  • Having more than one sexual partner in a life time.
  • Sexual transmitted disease, for example, syphilis, gonorrhea and other often sensitive vaginal discharges and especially viral infections like general warts, HIV and genital herpes.
  • Multiple pregnancies from an early age.
  • Smoking.
  • Failure to receive regular PAP-smear screening.

If you have two or more of these possible causes, you’re at risk of getting cervical cancer.

While doctors have a vaccine that may help prevent most cervical cases of cervical cancer in the future, many women are still oblivious to the deadly risks cervical cancer cause.

In fact, South African statistics reveal that one in every 42 women will be diagnosed with this disease, says The Nelson Mandela University.

You don’t have to become another cancer statistic!

During last months’ Cervical Awareness Month, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that all your girls aged nine and ten will be given the vaccine that’ll help prevent cervical cancer.

This will be rolled out as early as February next year, says FSP Health.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines are usually given as a series of three shots over six months to protect against infection. Keep in mind that while the HPV vaccine has the potential to reduce your cervical cancer risk, it’s no magic bullet, it can’t eradicate the cancer.

But there are other ways to reduce your cervical cancer risk.

Here’s what you must do to reduce your cervical cancer risk

A well-documented way to prevent cervix cancer is to have a screening done to find pre-cancers before they can turn into evasive cancer.
The Pap smear test and the human papilloma virus test are used for this, says the American Cancer Society.

Remember, if a pre-cancer is found, it can be treated to curb cervical cancer before it starts. It’s vital that you have a screening done today. It could save your life.

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