Wellness Tips

Wellness Wednesday: 5 tips to reduce and prevent cervical cancer | Lifestyle

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Cervical Cancer is one of the most common female gynecological cancers. It’s known to be silent and slow-growing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States every year.

Statistical facts have shown women tend to have numerous barriers to getting up-to-date preventative screenings performed on a regular basis. However, the single most important thing a woman can do to prevent cervical cancer begins with knowledge.

Ultimately, it starts with you slowing down and taking time to know your own body and its signals. Here are five suggestions for you to begin taking care of yourself.

1. Understand Your Body

Poor Diet. Our “fast food culture” focuses on highly inflammatory foods, processed meats/snacks, and high sugary drinks/desserts that have been potentially associated with the development of cervical cancer. Pro-inflammatory foods disrupt the balance of good bacteria in the stomach, ultimately, inducing inflammation and increasing the cervical cancer risk.

You are not alone. Most of us need to do a better job of accessing a balanced nutrient-dense diet that contains fruits, vegetables, protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Do your best to cut out the processed foods and eat healthier.

Weakened Immune System. If you feel your immune system is weakened due to an immune disease, medical condition, or poor lifestyle choices, consider sprucing it up with vitamins and supplements including Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Curcumin (Turmeric).

2. Prioritize Your Health

Gardasil HPV vaccine administration can start as early as 9 years old and up to 45 years of age.

3. Manage Your Health

Pap Smear. A Pap Smear looks for precancerous cell changes on the cervix. During a pap smear, the female will lay supine on the exam bed. The medical professional will insert a speculum to obtain a sample to be sent to the laboratory for testing. Avoid douching, vaginal medications, and intercourse for up to 2 days before a Pap Smear. Try to avoid scheduling a Pap Smear during your menstrual period.

Begin Pap Smear screenings at the age of 21, then every three years, if results are negative. Once a woman turns 30 years old, every five years is recommended with a negative result. However, abnormal findings will elicit the medical professional to give individualized medical guidance.

HPV Test. HPV Test looks for the human papillomavirus virus. During a colposcopy, the female will lay in supine position on the exam bed. The medical professional will insert a speculum and dab a vinegar-based cotton swab onto the area. If abnormality is noted, a cervical biopsy will be taken from the tissue sample and sent to the laboratory for further testing.

According to Dr. Dewdney, Gynecologic Oncologist “HPV is very common in sexually active people but the vast majority never develop symptoms, and the body’s immune system can usually clear HPV out on its own within 2 years. However, some women’s cervix cells continue to develop strains of HPV leading to cervical cancer. HPV can be detected in 93% of all cervical cancers.”

4. Listen To Your Body

Assess yourself. These symptoms require evaluation by a medical professional, preferably a gynecologist: vaginal bleeding with sexual intercourse, vaginal bleeding after menopause, vaginal bleeding between periods or periods that are heavier or longer than normal, blood in urine, pelvic pain or pain with sexual intercourse, and difficult or painful urination.

5. Don’t Let Your Guard Down

Don’t smoke. Don’t vape. Smoking and vaping doubles the risk of developing cervical cancer. Numerous research studies have proven that these by-products will damage the DNA of the cervix possibly leading to cervical cancer.

Practice safe sex. Unprotected sexual relations and multiple partners increases the risk of developing HPV and cervical cancer. Use a condom to help lower the risk.

Use these tips to prevent cervical cancer for yourself and also help the other beautiful women in your life.

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