Cervical cancer progresses slowly, rarely showing symptoms in the early stages. A large number of the female population may suffer from this cancer and not even know about it. This type of cancer is silent and deadly. To keep cervical cancer at bay, you must go for routine pap tests, get vaccinated, cut down on smoking, and practice safe sex. Read on to know about some vital tips from Dr Tanveer Abdul Majeed, surgical oncologist, Zen Multispecialty Hospital, Chembur to live a disease-free life.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is termed as a cancer that tends to occur in the cell of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina). This cancer can set in owing to the various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection.
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Those suffering from cervical cancer may showcase symptoms such as a bloody vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse.
A study published in the Lancet Global Health suggested that India recorded the highest estimated number of cervical cancer deaths in 2018. “India contributed 97,000 cervical cancer cases with 60,000 deaths. These figures are surely bothersome and require immediate medical attention,” said Dr Majeed.
Follow these essential tips to safeguard yourself from cervical cancer
Quitting smoking is important
‘Smoking is injurious to health,’ this instruction is often overlooked. But, it is the need of the hour to cut down on smoking in order to lower your chances of cervical cancer. Various studies reveal that tobacco by-products tend to damage one’s DNA of cervix cells and in turn, invite cervical cancer. Hence, it is essential to opt for smoking cessation therapy and quit it as soon as possible.
Opt for Pap test
If you schedule routine Pap tests then your doctor will be able to spot abnormalities that take place in the cervix. Thus, you will be able to deal with the changes on time and take precautions. You will have to take tests as per the suggestion of your doctor.
Get vaccinated at the right time
Not many know that there is a vaccine available for cervical cancer. Speak to your doctor regarding it.
Practice safe sex
According to some studies, women who tend to have multiple sexual partners are at a higher risk of getting cervical cancer. Safe sex methods are needed while having intercourse. Bleeding between intercourses should be properly dealt with.
Watch what you eat
Your diet must consist of fresh fruits and vegetables so that you stay healthy and hearty. Eat legumes and whole grains, too. Avoid consumption of junk, processed, oily, and spicy foods. Reduce your intake of aerated drinks and alcohol.
Though cervical cancer can strike anyone at any age, one should beware of the changes that occur in the body and report abnormalities on an immediate basis.
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