The good news is that cervical cancer is very preventable. It used to be one of the most common causes of cancer death for women, but over the last 30 years the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by 50% (yay!). But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay attention to it. The reason the death rate went down so much is because we now have better screening and prevention tools.
Here are some things you should know:
ALWAYS GET YOUR PAP TEST DONE! Really, don’t skip these, this is the key to catching cervical cancer early. Its recommended to get a Pap test at age 21 and then every 3 years after. Women 30 and older can have an HPV test with the Pap. Even if you’ve had the HPV vaccination you should still be tested.
Condoms protect your cervix from sexually transmitted infections. Female condoms provide better coverage, so consider using those.
Smoking is linked to cervical cancer because the nicotine becomes concentrated in the cervical mucus. This makes abnormal cell changes more likely.
Nutrition plays a role as well. These vitamins and nutrients have been shown to help nourish the cervix and support our immune system: