It used to be that cervical cancer was one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in women in the US. However, all that changed courtesy of the fact that more and more women are getting the Pap test — early detection and treatment is key to successfully dealing with cervical cancer.
However, this doesn’t remove cervical cancer from the face of the planet — women can still develop this dreaded disease! The good news is it’s something whose risk of showing up can be considerably reduced with the help of the tips mentioned below. So ladies, read up — here are some of the ways to lower your cervical cancer risk:
Quit Cigarette Smoking
Everyone knows that ditching smoking cigarettes can help keep at bay the likes of heart and lung diseases. Did you know that it’s also something that can help in preventing cervical cancer from striking? Actually, doctors say that women who smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to end up battling cervical cancer compared to women who do not smoke — you can thank the thousands of carcinogenic substances found in cigarette smoke for it.
Have a Healthy Eating Habit
Opting for a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables helps in flooding your body with cancer-fighting antioxidants, and that’s why it can help in lowering your odds of developing cervical cancer. Having a healthy diet also helps keep your immune system in an optimal state, and this enables your body to fight off infections — certain types of infections can increase a woman’s risk of cervical cancer (more on this later).
Maintain an Ideal Weight
We all know that being overweight is something that can have lots and lots of repercussions — from lowered self-esteem, achy joints, diabetes to obesity. Are you aware that having unwanted pounds can also put you at a higher risk of cancer, including that which affects the cervix? Doctors say that extra fat in the body is actually capable of producing certain hormones which can then affect the way the cells work, potentially leading to cancer.
Get Vaccinated for Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Did you know that it’s not just warts that HPV can cause, but also cervical cancer? Having unprotected sex with a person who has HPV can get you infected as well, and thus putting you at risk of having cervical cancer. There are more than 100 types of HPV out there, and only a few of them can be linked to cervical cancer. For your peace of mind, get vaccinated for HPV — although it may not provide complete protection from other HPV-related cancers.
Use Condoms When Having Sex
Another way to keep HPV at bay is through the use of a condom when you are having sexual intercourse with someone who may have the said type of virus. Condom use may also help lower your risk of having sexually transmitted diseases or STDs — doctors say that some women with cervical cancer have a history of chlamydia infection, which is a form of STD that can cause pelvic inflammation and ultimately lead to infertility.
Have Regular Pap Tests
Finally, it’s also important for a woman like you who wants to dodge cervical cancer to undergo Pap test on a regular basis. Experts say that women who are 21 years old and above should get regular screening. They add that if your Pap test results are normal, then your risk of developing cervical cancer is very low in the next few years — and your doctor may tell you that you may skip having another test within the next 3 years or so.
Don’t forget to have this article shared on social media to let your female relatives and friends know some of the things that they may do to have their risk of cervical cancer considerably reduced!