Cervical Cancer Awareness
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in the Philippines, with women between ages 15 to 44 at greater risk. Early detection is critical for treatment, so it is good to be aware of causes, symptoms, and prevention.
Cervical cancer is caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is sexually transmitted. Even skin-to-skin genital contact is a well-recognized mode of transmission, according to the WHO.
- Blood spots or light bleeding between or after periods
- Unusual menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual
- Increased or unpleasant vaginal discharge
- Bleeding after intercourse, douching or pelvic examination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Bleeding after menopause
The most practical and reliable way to detect early cervical cancer is through Pap smear. The first Pap smear should be done three years after the first vaginal intercourse. Unmarried women who have never had sexual activity should have the test at age 35.
- Have a regular Pap smear screening: every year for three years after the first Pap test, then every two to three years if the test is negative for the three consecutive years
- Ensure a one-partner sexual relationship
- Abstain from early sexual intercourse
- Practice safe sex
- Avoid sexual intercourse with people who have had many partners
The article written above is for informational and educational purposes only. For serious medical and health concerns, please consult a licensed health provider.