Cervical Health Awareness Month

January 2, 2018
Cervical Health Awareness Month - Soma Technology, Inc.

Cervical Health Awareness Month - Soma Technology, Inc.

December 31st, most people made resolutions to change who they are for this year. Let’s all make a concerted effort to put the same lifestyle changes but towards our health. January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. This year over 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. More women will test positive for HPV, that may lead to cervical complications.

What is HPV?

The Human Papilloma Virus is commonly transmitted via sexual activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected. This makes it hard to know when you first became infected.” Usually, HPV will go away on its own, and usually does not pose any health risks. If you are over the age of 30, and sexually active, it is recommended that you get a pap smear- the scraping of your cervix, to test for any signs of HPV. This will come up on your pap-smear as abnormal. The worst complication from HPV is cancer. HPV may cause several different types of cancer, including cervical, vulvular, throat, and oropharyngeal cancers. The Mayo Clinic describes the staging as:

  • Stage I. Cancer is confined to the cervix.
  • Stage II. Cancer is present in the cervix and upper portion of the vagina.
  • Stage III. Cancer has moved to the lower portion of the vagina or internally to the pelvic side wall.
  • Stage IV. Cancer has spread to nearby organs, such as the bladder or rectum, or it has spread to other areas of the body, such as the lungs, liver or bones.

Treatment can be done by a hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus; radiation, chemotherapy and palliative care.

What is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical Cancer is the cancer of the cervix. Scientists believe that HPV plays a role in cervical cancer by slowly making the surface cells cancerous. According to the Mayo Clinic, “cervical cancer begins when healthy cells acquire a genetic change (mutation) that causes them to turn into abnormal cells. Healthy cells grow and multiply at a set rate, eventually dying at a set time. Cancer cells grow and multiply out of control, and they don’t die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can break off from a tumor to spread (metastasize) elsewhere in the body.” The risk factors include many sexual partners, a weak immune system, and smoking.

Awareness of Cervical Cancer

It is important to raise awareness of cervical cancer and the dangers of HPV to anyone who may be sexually active, including both females and males. There is a vaccine which protects against some forms of HPV. You can have a routine pap smear every year at your OBGYN’s office. Smoking may play a part, so even for other health risks, quit smoking now. Take control of your cervical health.


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