Last week, during The Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostrate Cancer forum, African First Ladies came together in search of permanent solutions for cancer management in Africa. Most people today have been affected either directly or indirectly by the effects of cancer.
Safe sex is not only essential for preventing pregnancy, but also for sexually transmitted diseases like the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common sexually transmitted virus and is the primary cause of most cases of cervical cancer. You can reduce your risk of being infected with HPV by using a condom during sexual intercourse. A condom won't provide 100-percent protection against HPV, but studies show that condoms do provide some protection against HPV. You are much better off with your partner wearing a condom than not wearing one.
Practicing safe sex is more than just wearing a condom. It also means limiting the amount of sexual partners you have in your lifetime. Having multiple sexual partners increases your risk of being infected with HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Getting a regular Pap smear is a highly effective way to reduce your risk of cervical cancer. The Pap smear is a simple test that can detect abnormal cervical changes long before they become cancerous. If your Pap smear results are abnormal, be sure to follow up with your doctor's recommendations. This could mean more frequent Pap smears or a colposcopy, an exam that allows the cervix to be viewed more closely.
Simply put, smoking offers no health benefits. Studies show that smoking can actually speed up the process of cervical damage caused by HPV.
HPV is a common sexually transmitted virus known to cause cervical cancer in women. Fortunately, there is an approved vaccine that not only protects against high risk strains, but also against two strains known to cause genital warts. The vaccine is available to women under 27, with a target age of 11 to 12 years of age. The vaccine is given in a series of three shots over a course of six months. It is most effective when given to young women before they become sexually active.