Lawrence University.org – Cervical cancer is, just like its name implies, cancer of the cervix. Some of the symptoms of cervical cancer include vaginal bleeding, warts, pelvis pain, leg pain, back pain, bone fractures, etc. Warts are one of the early symptoms of developing cervical cancer. Its presence should trigger a red flag. While it may sound less than appealing, at least you’re given a chance to prevent full-blown cervical cancer. Some women don’t even experience any kind of symptom and go straight to full-blown cancer.
Read more: The Skinny on Gardasil
As of current, the main cause of cervical cancer could be attributed to the human papillomavirus or HPV infection. HPV could be acquired via sexual contact with people who have had numerous partners in the past. The usage of condoms helps prevent cervical cancer to an extent although according to studies, it only lessens the risk by around 70%. This is due to the fact that HPV infection could be acquired by skin to skin contact like uncovered vaginal or rectal skin.
To help prevent cervical cancer, a vaccine has been developed. Called the Gardisil vaccine, it’s used, ideally, for girls aged 11 to 12, or way before they start becoming sexually active. A “catch-up” vaccine for girls aged 13 to 18 is also available. Also, pap smear tests are ideal. Three years after a woman’s first full sexual intercourse, it’s advisable to go on a pap test. Subsequent tests after that are best, most specifically, a test once every year.
We’ll discuss pap smear tests more thoroughly next time. For now, back to the subject, it seems the best prevention would be to practice discretion in choosing your partner.
Be aware, however, that not everyone infected with HPV develop cervical cancer. Also, those who have engaged in full-blown intercourse at a very young age (say, around 13-15) are more prone to cervical cancer.