4 Ways to Reduce Cervical Cancer Risk

PEKANBARU Knowledge of the early symptoms of cervical cancer is needed to prevent an increase to a higher stage.

Cervical cancer, which is generally caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), grows in cells in the cervix. Transmission occurs through sexual intercourse, be it copulation or penetration or oral sex.

Quoted from Liputan6.com, cervical cancer is a disease that progresses slowly and has several stages of development. In the early stages of cervical cancer, it is similar to reproductive health problems or other female problems.

According to data from the Global Burden of Cancer Study (Globocan) from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in Indonesia after breast cancer. To increase awareness of this disease, it is necessary to recognize the symptoms of early-stage cervical cancer.

Quoted from Liputan6.com which summarizes from various sources, early-stage cervical cancer means that cancer is still developing in the cervix or cervix, and has not spread to other tissues and organs. At this early stage, the growth of cancer cells is still relatively small. They can be less than three millimeters in size and are only visible when examined under a microscope or colposcope. Or, the size of cancer cells in the cervix is ​​less than four centimeters, but cancer growth is only around the cervix.

Sometimes the symptoms of early-stage cervical cancer are similar to reproductive health problems or other female problems.

Symptoms of early stage cervical cancer include the following:

1. Bleeding outside the menstrual schedule or after menopause.

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2. Vaginal discharge with a thick texture, unpleasant odor, or accompanied by spots.

3. Menstruation that is very painful or lasts longer than usual.

4. Vaginal pain during sex.

5. Vaginal bleeding during a pelvic exam.

6. Lower back pain or near the pelvis

7. Pee hurts

8. Frequent urination or urge to urinate constantly

9. Swollen feet

Given that there are some symptoms of early-stage cervical cancer that are similar to other diseases such as vaginal infections or other reproductive problems, it’s a good idea to immediately consult a doctor if you find the symptoms of early-stage cervical cancer above.

Causes of Cervical Cancer

According to WHO, almost all cases of cervical cancer (99%) are associated with infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is very commonly transmitted through sexual contact. Two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) (16 and 18) are responsible for nearly 50% of high-grade cervical pre-cancers.

HPV is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract. Most sexually active women and men will be infected at some point in their lives, and some may be infected repeatedly. More than 90% of the infected population eventually recovers from the infection.

Even so, there are several other factors that can increase a person’s risk of cervical cancer, such as smoking habits, frequently changing sexual partners, and having a low immune system.

For that, don’t forget to always increase your body’s immune so that your health condition is always in optimal condition. You can increase your immune system by eating a variety of healthy foods so that your nutritional and nutritional needs are met properly.

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How to Prevent Early Stage Cervical Cancer

To reduce the risk of cervical cancer, there are several things that can be pursued, namely:

1. Perform cervical screening or pap smear

Regular pelvic examinations and Pap smears are one of the recommended ways to detect cervical cancer early. Through this examination, the doctor can find out if there are abnormalities in the cells of the cervix.

Pap smears are recommended every 3 years for women aged 21–29 years, and every 3–5 years for women aged 30–65 years. If the results of the examination point to the possibility of cervical cancer, the doctor will confirm it by carrying out further examinations, namely colposcopy and biopsy.

2. Avoid risky sexual behavior

To reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer, it is important to practice safe sex. The trick is not to change partners and use condoms during sexual intercourse. If you want to have unprotected sex, make sure your partner doesn’t have a sexually transmitted disease.

3. Doing the HPV vaccine

The HPV vaccine protects women from the types of HPV that most commonly cause cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that, in addition to screening, getting the HPV vaccine is the most important thing a person can do to prevent cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccination is recommended for preteens aged 11 to 12 years, but can be given as early as 9 years of age. The HPV vaccine is also recommended for all people up to the age of 26, if they have not been vaccinated.

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The HPV vaccination is not recommended for everyone over the age of 26. However, some adults aged 27 to 45 who have not been vaccinated may decide to get the HPV vaccine after talking to their doctor about the risks of a new HPV infection and the possible benefits of vaccination. HPV vaccination in this age range provides less benefit, because more people have been exposed to HPV.

4. Quitting smoking habits

Smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke (passive smoking) can make women more susceptible to cervical cancer. Therefore, immediately stop smoking and avoid cigarette smoke.***

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