Cancer experts at the City of Hope, California Center for Cancer Therapy and Research, said that in fact, the more women know about the disease, the greater the chance they can prevent it.
Experts point out that in the past 40 years, the mortality rate of cervical cancer has dropped by more than 50%, because women have learned more about the risks, and more and more cervical cancer patients have undergone cervical smears, which can help doctors Screen for this disease.
However, since this type of cancer often shows no warning signs, City of Hope urges women to protect their health by understanding five aspects of cervical cancer:
1. The most common cause is human papillomavirus (HPV). About 99% of cervical cancers are caused by this sexually transmitted infection. The most common strains of the virus, HPV16 and HPV18, account for about 70% of all cases. About 14 million new HPV infections are discovered every year. Some mild, but persistent infections can cause serious health problems.
2. Cervical cancer is often preventable. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved three HPV vaccines. The first is Gardasil approved in 2006 to prevent HPV16 and HPV18. In 2009, the FDA approved Cervarix. The third vaccine, Gardasil 9, is believed to have been approved in 2014. The vaccine is 97% effective in preventing cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, and vaginal cancer, as well as preventing other types of high-risk HPV strains. It is recommended that young men and women 9 to 26 years old be vaccinated against HPV.
3. Lesbian and bisexual women are unlikely to undergo cervical cancer screening. The City of Hope indicates that this may be due to fear of discrimination and insufficient awareness of cervical cancer.
4. All women over 21 years of age should be regularly checked and screened. This should include annual pelvic examinations and regular Pap tests, which are routine screenings for cervical cancer. For Pap tests, cells are collected from the cervix to check for any abnormalities. Women over the age of 20 should undergo a Pap test every three years. Women between the ages of 30 and 64 should undergo a Pap test every five years.
5. Warning signs of cervical cancer may be scarce. Cervical cancer may cause bleeding, but many women have irregular menstruation, so they are easily overlooked. Usually, the disease does not cause pain or other obvious warning signs, making screening more important. Women should not ignore any abnormal symptoms and seek medical evaluation in a timely manner.