There is a tendency to assume that “no news is good news” with the body; or, should we say, “no symptoms are good symptoms.” And, while it’s true the body typically “speaks up” when via tangible symptoms and side effects – there are exceptions.
Cervical cancer is one of these. Most of the time, cervical cancer is silent, creating disease in the cervix and the reproductive tract – and then metastasizing to other parts of the body – without causing notable symptoms. In cases when certain types, or later-stage, cervical cancer does cause side-effects, it may be too late to treat it.
The best way to prevent cervical cancer is to maintain a proactive approach. And, as always, schedule an appointment immediately if you experience symptoms of cervical cancer, which include:
Other symptoms can include pelvic, back or leg pain, major fatigue, chronic nausea or feeling like you’re going to vomit, unusual weight loss (out of the blue, unrelated to diet/exercise).
HPV (human papillomavirus) is a leading cause of cervical cancer. HPV vaccines are recommended for women between the ages of 9 and 26.
Young men (9- to 26-years) should also get the HPV vaccine because, in addition to preventing genital warts and STDs that lead to , the vaccine prevents men from becoming infected and spreading HPV to their sexual partners.
Pap smears are the tests used to screen for abnormal cervical cells and/or evidence of cervical cancer. In most cases, gynecologists recommend women between the ages of 20 and 61 get pap smears every three years; HPV tests are recommended every five years. While you should absolutely follow these guidelines, it’s still best to see your gynecologist every year for an annual pelvic exam and general check-up.
Annual visits help your physician keep abreast of what’s going on in your life, whether or not risk factors indicate you should get a pap smear more often, and s/he could potentially feel or see something during your routine pelvic exam that raises a red flag. When it comes to cancers of any kind, early diagnosis is key to more .
Making is the best way to prevent cervical and other forms of cancer. In addition to preventing your body from developing cancers, the health-wise benefits of a healthy lifestyle support your immune system in eradicating cancer cells if they do show up.
Healthy lifestyle choices include:
Are you facing a cervical cancer diagnosis? Contact the oncology team at . Our exceptional, nearby location prevents Palouse residents from the long haul to Vancouver, so you have more time to spend taking care of yourself.
Published on January 28, 2019