You can help prevent cervical cancer – Consumer Health News

SATURDAY January 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Cervical cancer is the only preventable gynecologic cancer, but there were more than 4,000 deaths in the United States in 2021 and nearly 14,500 new ones cases, according to the American Cancer Society.

The best way to avoid this is to make sure that you and your children get their human papillomavirus vaccines, experts noted.

Almost all cervical cancer comes from HPV, which will first cause precancerous cells, said Dr. James Aikins Jr., chief of the gynecologic oncology department at the Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Jersey, New Brunswick. .

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children receive two doses of the HPV vaccine when they are 11 or 12 years old. It can be started from the age of 9.

The vaccine is also approved for adults who have not yet received it until the age of 45, but it works best when given at a younger age.

To protect yourself, get regular Pap tests and HPV tests, which can detect precancerous changes in cells that can eventually develop into cervical cancer. Screening is typically done for women between the ages of 21 and 65, but can vary, Aikins said in a press release from Rutgers.

Other lifestyle choices can help prevent cervical cancer, he said.

Maintain a healthy weight, be physically active, eat a healthy diet, and avoid or stop smoking. In addition, use a condom with any sexual partner.

It is impossible to know if a partner has HPV, and the cancer society claims that using condoms can reduce the rate of HPV infection by about 70%.

All women should have a routine checkup schedule with their doctor, Aikins said.

More information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on HPV.

SOURCE: Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, press release, January 1, 2022

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