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Cervical Cancer Awareness: Prevention and Vaccination

Cervical Cancer Awareness: Prevention and Vaccination

Cervical Cancer Awareness: Prevention and Vaccination

Cervical cancer is a considerable health problem for women globally. Despite these developments in medical practices in screening and managing diseases, immunization remains a key strategy in combating diseases. In this article, we will discuss the need to know about cervical cancer, the ways to prevent it, and how vaccination can help fight the disease.

Understanding Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cervix – the lower part of the uterus that forms a passageway between the uterus and vagina. It is mainly attributable to human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease. This infection usually goes undetected because it may not show any symptoms. But, if the infection with high-risk types of HPV is chronic, it may result in cervical cancer at some point in the future.

Prevention Strategies

Cervical cancer prevention is a very important factor when it comes to dealing with the disease. Several strategies play a crucial role in reducing the risk of developing this disease –

Regular Screening – Pap smears and HPV tests, which are common cervical cancer screening techniques, can identify changes in the cervix at the early stages when treatment is most effective. Women are encouraged to get screened as often as their healthcare provider may recommend.

Safe Sexual Practices – Some ways through which one can reduce the chances of getting infected with HPV include practicing safe sex, using condoms, and having few sex partners. Although they offer some protection, condoms are not a guarantee against HPV since the virus can affect areas that are not shielded by the condom.

Smoking Cessation – Smoking is a risk factor for cervical cancer and may also have adverse effects on treatment outcomes. Smoking cessation can reduce cervical cancer risk and has numerous benefits for the health of women.

Healthy Lifestyle – Eating a balanced diet and exercising can help strengthen the body by warding off diseases such as cervical cancer. 

While these prevention strategies are effective, they may not eliminate the risk of cervical cancer. This is where vaccination comes into play.

Role of Vaccination

Vaccination against HPV is one of the most significant developments in cervical cancer control. HPV vaccines are intended to prevent the most prevalent high-risk HPV subtypes that are linked to cervical cancer. Here are key points regarding HPV vaccination –

Types of Vaccines – Some of the vaccines that are available for use include the Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines, which are used to prevent different types of HPV. Such vaccines are given in two or three doses over several months.

Target Population – It is advisable that both male and female candidates should be vaccinated against HPV before they engage in sexual activities. It is well established that vaccination at a young age is the most effective way of preventing HPV infection and cervical cancer later in life.

Effectiveness – HPV vaccines have been demonstrated to be safe and effective in preventing HPV and cervical cancer. Research has shown that the HPV vaccine has helped in reducing the risk of HPV infections and cervical precancerous lesions.

Safety – HPV vaccines are considered safe and have been shown to have a favorable side effect profile. Like any other vaccines, they may have mild side effects including soreness at the site of the injection, fever, dizziness and the like. Severe side effects are not frequent.

Accessibility – There are ongoing attempts to enhance HPV vaccination coverage, especially in LMICs that bear the highest burden of cervical cancer morbidity and mortality. This is because vaccination in schools and other community-based campaigns is intended to enhance vaccine coverage and minimize inequalities in cervical cancer prevention.

Conclusion

Cervical cancer is a preventable disease and when people are aware of this they are able to prevent it. Some of the ways one can use to prevent cervical cancer include screening, practicing safe sex, and changing ones’ lifestyle. However, the vaccination against HPV continues to be one of the most effective strategies for combating this disease. It is for this reason vaccination is used to prevent the disease from affecting those who have not come into contact with the virus and hence reduce the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths.

As advocates for women’s health, we must persistently encourage cervical cancer prevention, vaccination, and efforts to eradicate this preventable illness. In this way, we can advance toward a world in which cervical cancer remains no longer a threat to women’s health and well-being.

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