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January 2024: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Jan 23, 2024


January 2024: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

In today’s world, people can be afflicted by various diseases or conditions. Among them is cervical cancer, which is considered the sixth most common type of cancer in women. Cervical cancer forms in the cells of your cervix and usually takes a long time to develop. This type of cancer is caused by a sexually transmitted infection that has high-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV).

According to WHO, cervical cancer had an estimated 604000 new cases and 342000 deaths in 2020. Another research, according to the National Cancer Institute, states that about 13,960 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed, with 4,310 women succumbing to it in the U.S. Looking at these results, various health institutions have taken a stand to fight, and spread awareness about this cancer. They believe that in the long run, this disease will be eradicated forever.

In this blog, we will discuss cervical health awareness and various things about cervical cancer.

What Is Cervical Health Awareness?

According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), every year, more than 14,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. However, the disease is avoidable by getting immunization and regular screening.

This month, the main focus is on the detection, treatment, and early prevention of cervical cancer. Other than this, cervical health awareness focuses on raising awareness about cervical health. This awareness is crucial because cervical cancer is largely preventable and treatable when detected at an early stage. It also helps to improve overall reproductive health outcomes and empowers women to take charge of their cervical health and well-being through education, immunization programs, and easily available healthcare services.

Warning Signs of Cervical Cancer

You may not notice any symptoms of cervical cancer in the early stages, which is why regular screenings are crucial for early detection. If you notice any of the following signs of cervical cancer, it is best to check with a healthcare provider for further evaluation:

  • Unusual bleeding between menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse, or after menopause
  • Changes in the color, consistency, or odor of vaginal discharge
  • Persistent pain in the pelvic region, especially during sexual intercourse
  • Pain or discomfort during urination
  • Persistent pain in the lower back or pelvis
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Abdominal pain

Importance of Cervical Health Screening

Cervical health screening is important and can help identify cervical cancer in its early stage. This can help in early treatment and save many lives. Here are more reasons to get cervical health screening:

1. Reduction in Cervical Cancer Occurrence and Mortality

Cervical screening programs have been linked to a considerable reduction in cervical cancer incidence and death. Early diagnosis and therapy of cervical anomalies are crucial to improving outcomes.

2. Prevention of Cervical Cancer

Regular screenings can help in preventing cervical cancer in women. These screenings help identify abnormalities that help the healthcare providers take necessary actions, such as monitoring or treating them before they become cancerous.

3. Recognizing Infection with High-Risk HPV Strains

High-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) are the primary cause of cervical cancer in women. With HPV testing in an early cervical screening, healthcare providers can identify women who are at a higher risk for developing cervical cancer.

4. Facilitation of Preventive Measures

Cervical screening facilitates the implementation of preventive measures such as HPV vaccination, lifestyle modifications, and education on safe sexual practices.

5. Empowering Women with Knowledge

Regular cervical screening empowers women with knowledge about their cervical health. It encourages women to participate in their healthcare actively, make informed decisions, and take preventive measures to protect themselves from this cancer.

6. Global Health Initiatives

Cervical health screening is a crucial component of global health initiatives aimed at reducing the incidence of cervical cancer, particularly in regions where access to healthcare services may be limited.

Who Is at Risk of Cervical Cancer?

Here are some of the risk factors of cervical cancer that women should look out for:

1. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection

HPV is considered the most common but important risk factor for cervical cancer. This is a common infection that occurs after people become sexually active. There are many HPV types, but HPV16 and HPV18 are associated with cervical cancer.

2. Herpes

Women with genital herpes are at a greater risk of cervical cancer.

3. Immune System Deficiency

Women with a weak immune system are at a greater risk of developing cervical cancer. Due to a weak immune system, they can develop HIV or AIDS, which makes the immune system unable to fight off early cancer.

4. Smoking

Smoking plays a significant role in increasing the risk of cervical cancer. Women who smoke tobacco are about to be more likely to develop cervical cancer compared with women who do not smoke.

5. Oral Contraceptives

Women who use oral contraceptives (birth control pills) for a prolonged period are at a greater risk of cervical cancer. However, they can reduce the risk by decreasing or stopping using these contraceptives.

Can Cervical Cancer Be Cured?

Cervical cancer is treatable and curable if it is diagnosed in its early stage. So, it’s ideal for women to have periodic cervical screening to achieve positive outcomes and protect lives.

Final Thoughts

January 2024 marks Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, reminding everyone about the importance of understanding and preventing cervical cancer. It's a time to spread awareness, encourage screenings, and promote vaccination against HPV, the virus linked to cervical cancer. By educating ourselves and others, we can work towards early detection and better protection for all.

Protect Yourself From Cervical Cancer With Metro Urgent Care

Do you have cervical cancer symptoms and are looking for a proper diagnosis and care? If yes, then you should visit Metro Urgent Care. We provide the best Chronic care in Chicago, IL, and our specialists are always ready to provide immediate attention and assistance to your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Sources: National Cervical Cancer Coalition, National Cancer Institute, WHO

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January 2024: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
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