Cervical cancer develops in the cells of the cervix, which links the uterus to the vagina. Human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, is frequently to blame. With cervical cancer still affecting women globally, it's critical to understand the "silent killer" but also what we can do to increase our chances of survival. In this article, we have gathered five facts about cervical cancer that every woman should know about.
It is vital to consider the sources of a problem in order to discover a remedy. Human papillomavirus (HPV), a widespread virus that may be spread from person to person via sexual activity, causes the majority of cervical malignancies. HPV infection can affect both males and women. It can exist for years without generating symptoms and can be passed on to others without their knowledge.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 20 million individuals are already infected with HPV globally, with an additional 6.2 million contracting the virus each year. Other malignancies associated with HPV include throat, penis, anus, vulva, and vaginal cancer.
HPV is dangerous, but it is not necessarily a cancer sign. HPV is a family of more than 150 viruses. Most men and women who have ever had intercourse will become infected with HPV at some point in their life. While there are strains that can cause cervical cancer and make it the leading cause of the illness, as previously stated, most HPV infections resolve without therapy and are not associated with malignancy.
Clinicians are unlikely to be surprised by the racial dynamics that might arise in the healthcare system. Lack of access to healthcare is a multifaceted issue. Black, Hispanic, and Native American women are more prone to postpone Pap tests and cervical biopsy (cervical cancer screening), increasing their death risk.
This delay can be attributed to a variety of issues, including a lack of knowledge of the need for screening, difficulties accessing services, or taking time off work to attend screenings. Individually, professionals can be aware that persons of color may have had unfavorable experiences with the healthcare system in the past and may require particular compassion.
In the United States, there is a substantial dearth of OBGYN coverage, with just half of US counties having an OB/GYN. As a result, 10 million women are left without appropriate coverage. The number of nurse practitioners, family physicians, PAs, and midwives performing primary and secondary cervical cancer screening is increasing, which relieves some of the strain on physician time. With patients, go over the alternatives available in your clinic to assist them to choose the greatest match for their requirements.
Because HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer, the easiest strategy to prevent cervical cancer is to avoid HPV infection in the first place. An extremely efficient HPV vaccine has been used since 2006. The HPV vaccination, like other vaccines, aids your immune system in producing antibodies that defend your body from infection.
Regular Pap testing is the most effective strategy to detect abnormal cervix changes before they progress to cancer. Similarly to eliminating polyps to avoid colon cancer, treating these abnormal cells can aid in the prevention of cervical cancer. More than half of all women diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States had never or very seldom undergone a Pap test. The Pap test can potentially detect cervical cancer early when it is most treatable.