Hey there, ladies! Let’s talk about cervical cancer – an extremely important topic. Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection.
Let us take a look at the numbers
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women in Nigeria and the fourth most common cancer among women globally. In 2020, Globally, it was responsible for 604,000 new cases with 342,000 deaths. This is a staggering number, and we must take action to reduce these numbers.
So, what are the common risk factors for cervical cancer?
Some factors include having multiple sexual partners, starting sexual activity at a young age, smoking, and having a weakened immune system. It is also important to note that cervical cancer can affect women of all ages, but it’s most common in women aged 30 and above.
The good news is that cervical cancer is highly preventable! One way to prevent cervical cancer is by getting vaccinated against HPV. The vaccine is recommended at age 11 or 12 years (or can start at age 9 years) and for everyone through age 26 years, if not vaccinated already. Another way to prevent cervical cancer is by going for regular screenings, such as a Pap test. This can help detect any changes in the cervix before they turn into cancer.
Ladies, it’s time to prioritise our health and take action to prevent cervical cancer. Schedule a screening with your doctor today, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.