If you’re dealing with cervical cancer, it’s important to know that the disease often begins slowly, with changes in the cells of the cervix called dysplasia. Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cells of the endometrium, which is the lower part of the uterus or womb. The cervix connects the uterus to the vagina. Cervical cancer usually develops slowly over many years and often begins with the appearance of precancerous changes in the cells of the cervix, known as dysplasia.
The primary cause of cervical cancer is persistent infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). One of the most effective preventive measures against cervical cancer is vaccination. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, given in early adolescence, protects against the most common type of HPV, which is a major cause of cervical cancer. It is important to encourage vaccination for both boys and girls to build herd immunity and reduce the overall prevalence of HPV.
Cervical cancer is a major health concern worldwide, affecting women of all ages. However, the good news is that many cases of cervical cancer are preventable through vaccination, regular screening and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Here we learn that lifestyle choices and healthy habits play a role in preventing cervical cancer.
Regular screening: Early detection saves lives
Regular cervical screening, such as Pap smears and HPV tests, is essential for early detection of abnormalities that may lead to cervical cancer. These screenings can detect precancerous changes in the cervix, allowing for early intervention and treatment. Women should adhere to the recommended screening schedule, ensuring that any potential problems are detected early when they are most treatable.
Consume a healthy diet
A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains contributes significantly to overall health and may reduce the risk of cervical cancer. The antioxidants and vitamins found in these foods support the body’s immune system, helping it fight infections, including those caused by HPV. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of cervical cancer.
Quitting tobacco: an important step
Tobacco use is a known risk factor for cervical cancer. Smoking not only weakens the immune system but also increases the chance of persistent HPV infection. Women who smoke are more likely to develop cervical cancer than non-smokers. Quitting smoking is an important step towards reducing the risk of cervical cancer and improving overall health.
Safer Sex Practices: Protection Against HPV
An important aspect of cervical cancer prevention is practicing safe sex. HPV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, and using barrier methods such as condoms can reduce the risk of transmission. Open communication with sexual partners about sexual health and regular screening are integral components of a comprehensive prevention strategy.
Stress Management: Supports immune function
Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections, including HPV. Adopting stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness can contribute to overall well-being and support the body’s ability to fight infection.
Preventing cervical cancer requires a multi-pronged approach that includes vaccination, regular screening and adopting healthy lifestyle choices. By making informed decisions about their own health, women can significantly reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Empowering individuals with knowledge of these preventive measures is essential in the ongoing effort to fight cervical cancer and improve women’s overall well-being.
(Dr. Kalpana Kothari is Chief-Gynaec Oncology Department, Senior Consultant-Robotic Surgery and HIPEC Surgeon for HCG Cancer