Cervical cancer: the facts
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in younger women and is often mistakenly linked to promiscuity.
According to Cancer Research UK women who smoke are more likely to get cervical cancer than those who do not.
Taking the pill could increase a woman’s risk of cervical cancer – although the pill is thought to protect against ovarian cancer and cancer of the womb.
Women with a weakened immune system are also more likely to get cervical cancer, as are those who have had a large number of children.
It’s important to remember that as the cells change in your cervix you may have no symptoms whatsoever. It is vital to get checked regularly as unfortunately we women cannot see what is going on! Symptoms may be strange spotting, bleeding, abnormal discharge. Sadly, these symptoms usually do not express themselves until after the cancer has begun. It’s much better to treat the abnormal pre-cancerous cells!
If you are given the all clear that’s fabulous but don’t forget to keep going for smears as cells can change over time without you having a clue.
If you have an abnormal result don’t panic. This is when you need to take action. If you have ‘low’ grade abnormal cells you may well be given another smear and monitored very closely to ensure the cells do not change further. Treatment to remove the cells may be needed. If you have ‘high’ grade changes, this means you will no doubt require treatment from a specialist. This often involves zapping or removing the pre-cancerous cells quick smart. Stopping them in their tracks so to speak! You may need to repeat this procedure a few times and perhaps quite a few times throughout you’re life. It will certainly be worth the inconvenience if it means it prevents the cells from changing to cancerous. It is vital to follow through all treatments.
Jade Goody has certainly raised awareness of this illness. Jade admitted after abnormal smears that had ‘high’ grade cell changes she did go for some treatments. However, she didn’t keep going back for treatments to remove the cells. Jade was very unlucky as she actually had an abnormal smear result at just 15. This is unusual to have cell changes at this exceptionally young age. It’s incredibly sad. Let us ensure this young woman’s life is not in vain. For the sake of her two lovely little boys who are now without their mother, let’s book that dreaded appointment, lie back and let the doctor do the business. It will be over in about 2 minutes and here’s the best bit – it could save your life.
So let’s have sneaky peak at what can go on down there…
Please let me know you’re personal experiences? Have you ever had an abnormal result? How often do you go for smears?