Even though every woman is at risk of cervical cancer, black women are 41% more likely to develop the disease. 

As a woman, one of the most important things that you should be aware of is the risk of cervical cancer. This type of cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect women, and it can be a really scary diagnosis to receive. But the good news is that when it is detected early, cervical cancer is highly treatable. 

Introduction to Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cells of the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. In most cases, cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a common sexually transmitted infection. Although most women with HPV will not develop cervical cancer, it is important to note that HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer.

 What Exactly Causes Cervical Cancer?

As mentioned earlier, the primary cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common virus that is spread through sexual contact. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) states that there are many different types of HPV, but not all of them cause cancer. In fact, most people who become infected with HPV will not develop any symptoms, and the virus will clear up on its own. However, in some cases, the virus can cause changes in the cells of the cervix that can eventually lead to cancer.

Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer

There are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing cervical cancer. Some of the main risk factors include:

  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Smoking
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Starting sexual activity at a young age
  • Having a family history of cervical cancer
  • Not getting regular Pap tests or HPV tests

It is important to note that even if you have one or more of these risk factors, it does not necessarily mean that you will develop cervical cancer. However, it is still important to be aware of these risk factors and to take steps to reduce your risk.

 Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

In the early stages of cervical cancer, there are often no symptoms. However, as cancer grows, you may experience a range of symptoms, including:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause
  • Unusual vaginal discharge that may be bloody, watery, or foul-smelling
  • Pain during sex
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during urination

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible. While these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, they could also be a sign of cervical cancer.

Preventing Cervical Cancer with Vaccines and Screenings

There are several steps that you can take to help prevent cervical cancer. The first step is to get vaccinated against HPV. At Best Western Hospital, we recommend and administer HPV vaccinations to both males and females between the ages of 9 and 26. The vaccine can help protect against the types of HPV that are most likely to cause cervical cancer.

In addition to getting vaccinated, it is also important to get regular Pap and HPV tests. Pap tests are used to detect abnormal cells in the cervix, while HPV tests are used to detect the presence of the HPV virus. These tests can help detect cervical cancer in its early stages, when it is most treatable.

Treatment Options for Cervical Cancer

If you are diagnosed with cervical cancer, there are several treatment options available, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The type of treatment that you receive will depend on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as your overall health.

In some cases, a combination of treatments may be used. For example, surgery may be used to remove the cancerous tissue, followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy to help kill any remaining cancer cells.


Why You Should Stay Informed About Cervical Cancer

In conclusion, cervical cancer is a serious condition that can be very scary to think about. However, by staying informed about the risk factors, symptoms, and prevention methods, you can take steps to reduce your risk of developing this type of cancer. Remember to get vaccinated, get regular Pap tests and HPV tests, and see your doctor if you experience any symptoms. By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself and stay healthy.

 Schedule a Pap test and HPV test with us today to help protect against cervical cancer.


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