We only live once and as stewards of God’s gift to us, what we can do best is to take care of ourselves. As women, we have the responsibility to take extra care because we are the carriers of life. We cannot be sick; not when we still need to conceive a child. We cannot be afflicted with any ailment, not when we need to take care of our family. So it is important for us to protect ourselves from a serious malady like Cervical Cancer that would claim our lives.
Knowing what it is, how we can possibly get it, and how to prevent it are among the things that we should first understand. Knowing is not enough though, sharing awareness to your love ones, to your friends and to other people is already be a good contribution in reducing the mortality rate caused by Cervical Cancer . This is what SHE MATTERS is aiming for — to educate people about Cervical Cancer and to protect women in getting this morbid condition.
So let’s start from here by defining what is Cervical Cancer.
By the word itself, Cervical cancer is a tumor of the cervix which is a part of the lower uterus. This disease is caused by HPV or what is called Human Papilloma Virus which is transmitted during sexual intercourse. Mostly, women who are above 30 years old have higher risks of having Cervical Cancer.
What are the Symptoms?
Cervical cancer develops slowly that is why you cannot feel any symptoms at an early stage. However, if the cancer cells are already developed, a woman with cervical cancer may feel extreme pain like needle pinches on the stomach, bleeding before and after sex, or having abnormal vaginal discharges. Other symptoms also include constipation, haematuria (blood in the urine), urinary incontinence, bone pain, swelling of the legs, loss of appetite, pain in and around vagina when having sex, unpleasant smelling of vaginal discharges and pain when urinating.
How To Prevent Cervical Cancer?
There are a number of ways to prevent cervical cancer. A few of them are below:
1. Have a regular pap smear. This is a test that could detect changes or abnormal cells in the cervix which, when left untreated may result to cervical cancer. It is advisable to start getting Pap tests as you reach 21 or as soon as you have tried having sexual intercourse. Continue to do so regardless if you are sexually active or not.
2. Get HPV Vaccine. Vaccines can prevent infections causing cervical cancers. There are two types of vaccines to prevent HPV, Cervarix and Gardasil. HPV Vaccination is recommended for 11-12 years old girls or to 13-26 years old women.
3. Don’t Smoke. Smoking will never do good to our body. I need not elaborate, that’s self-explanatory.
4. Use Condom During Sexual Intercourse. This will not only protect you from being pregnant, but this will also protect you from getting unlikely diseases.
5. Be Monogamous. Maintain a one long-term partner who is not inflicted with STD.
6. Eat Vegetables. Veggies are less expensive but are very wealthy with vitamins and minerals.
According to Ms. Emee Y. Aquino, Founder of SMCCFI “Cervical Cancer is the second most common illness (second to breast cancer) which acquired by women age 15 – 44. And anyone who had sexual intercourse even for once would be at risk.”
Ms. Aquino who has a sister who cost life because of this debility, is very passionate about her advocacy in spreading Cervical Cancer Awareness across all areas in the country. They visit private and public offices, baranggays, NGOs, schools to talk about the disease. Last Saturday, they gathered Cebu Bloggers at Choi City in Banilad Town Center to seek support in disseminating this advocacy through the web.
Right now, SMCCFI (She Matters Cervical Cancer Foundation Inc.) are still in full force to pursue their goal of saving every woman’s life from being the next victim of Cervical Cancer. Should you want to volunteer for this cause, sign up here. Again, as a woman we need to take care of our health not just for ourselves, but for our family.
Will you wait for something to happen? Help us echo our voice in promoting this cause. Share this if you care!
DISCLAIMER : I’m not a doctor, not a nurse or somebody who took a medical course. I’m just an ordinary person who scours the net to come up with an article that would educate every women about Cervical Cancer.