7 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Cervical Cancer
Few things can strike fear into your heart like a capital C.
While cervical cancer is uncommon, its rarity doesn’t make it any less terrible. However, you can take proactive steps to reduce your chances of getting a diagnosis. Here are seven tips to help reduce your risk of cervical cancer. Get verified you have neglected your annual gynecological exam and Pap smear, take steps to get tested as soon as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all women age 21 and older get an annual Pap test.
If you are not insured or cannot afford the copay, you may qualify for free or low-cost impressions – please check your eligibility. The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. However, not all strains are the same—two subtypes of HPV, HPV 16 and HPV 18cause more than 70% of all cases. Detailed test results can tell you which antibodies you have, allowing you to get early intervention, making the condition almost always preventable.
Attending your annual exam is vital, especially if you are sexually active. It is best to establish a relationship with a trusted OB/GYN and seek medical attention even if you are under 21.
Get vaccinated One of the reasons to visit a gynecologist before having sex is to reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer. A study of over a million women found that HPV vaccination reduced the chance of developing the disease by 90%. If you are a parent of a teenage girl, consider getting her vaccinated. The CDC recommends doing this around 11 or 12 before having sex. Even if you don’t have health insurance, some programs can help you vaccinate your child for free.
However, please don’t think you’re too old to get vaccinated if you have already reached the age of majority. Even though you get a series of three instead of two shots, you can still reduce your risk. Even if you already have HPV, it’s worth getting vaccinated. While it won’t cure your strain, it can protect you from being infected by other pressures.
Practicing monogamy is the best way to prevent any sexually transmitted disease other than abstinence. This is especially important to reduce the risk of HPV infection. 80% of unvaccinated people will develop HPV at some point. Often infected people are unaware of this. Many people never develop characteristic warts that indicate a problem, and they may skip screening or get tested several months after contracting the virus. It is often impossible to know who caused the initial infection.
You must tell your current sexual partners if you test positive for HPV. In many cases, your immune system suppresses or clears it. However, experts do not know how long the virus persists.
Using a condom also reduces the risk of contracting the HPV virus. They are not foolproof. However, they reduce your chances of infection by 70%. Dental dams also reduce risk. You must use prophylactic during oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse. You can spread the HPV virus through oral sex. Whether or not you have symptoms. Getting Oral HPV increases the risk of throat and oral cancer.
Suppose you and your partner remain monogamous. Both of you should be tested before you stop using a condom. Having a full STD panel gives you peace of mind.
Don’t smoke tobacco
Tobacco smoking increases the risk of almost all types of cancer. Many strains contain several carcinogenic chemicals that cause changes in your body’s cells. This can affect the cervix, leading to disease. Smoking also increases the risk of developing cervical cancer because it reduces the body’s ability to fight the HPV virus. The researchers studied women who tested positive for HPV. They are found to have an increased viral load in those women who regularly use tobacco products.
Boost Your Immune Health
Your daily habits also affect the likelihood of developing the disease. For example, getting enough of various antioxidants through a plant-based diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of any form of cancer. Regular physical activity also reduces the risk of developing cancer. Recently, researchers have found a link between regular exercise and lower chances of getting sick—13 types of disease. A quality fitness program can also help clear your body of the HPV virus. Exercising slightly raises body temperature, a condition that many microbes find unbearable.
Use Smart Family Planning
Your choice of birth control also affects your risk of developing cervical cancer. Women taking birth control pills for five or more years increase their chances of getting sick. One study found that even shorter oral contraceptives increased your chances slightly while using oral contraceptives for more extended periods doubled your chances.
You may need to talk to your doctor about IUDs, especially if the condition runs in your family. These devices will not protect you from HPV infection, so it is wise to use a condom if you are not monogamous. However, they reduce the risk development of cervical cancer, perhaps by destroying the lesions before they become cancerous.
Reduce your risk of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is rare. Fortunately, you can prevent almost all cases with proper screening for the HPV virus. Then follow the other tips above to reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer.