As of 2017 In the United States alone, 12,990 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of that, 4,120 will die from this disease as reported by researchers at San Diego State University.
Cervical cancer occurs in the lower part of the uterus. Many women are susceptible to this disease, which affects thousands per year.
According to the National Cancer institute, 70 percent of cervical cancers are caused by two different of the human papillomavirus or HPV.
The direct correlation between these two viruses creates an urgency to take the proper precautions to prevent them from occurring. According to the World Health Organization, HPV is also the most common viral infection in the reproductive tract and most sexually active adults will be infected with it during their lifespan.
Two of the major ways to prevent cervical cancer is through screening tests and vaccines. It’s important for young women to get screened regularly as well as receive appropriate vaccinations. Negligence in doing so can result in the development of cancer cells within reproductive organ often times with no symptoms visible.
Prevention of cervical cancer can start as young as 9 years old. Young women from the ages of 9-26 are recommended to receive the three dose vaccination for HPV.
The first two doses are administered before the age of fifteen and the third one is given after that. This is a crucial time to receive this vaccination considering HPV is easily transmitted through sexually active young adults.
The CDC reports that cervical cancer is prevalent among women 18-50, this means it’s vital for women to take care of their reproductive health in their earlier years before its too late in their older years.
Cervical cancer is more easily treated when caught early rather than later when it’s less easy to treat. Although many cases of cervical cancer do not appear in women until later in life
Considering the advancements in western medicine, getting tested and treated for cervical cancer is fairly accessible. The most common way women get tested is via pap smear, as well as blood testing to identify HPV. Typically most adults get tested at least once per year and more frequently depending amount of sexual activity.
Whats alarming about cervical cancer is the fact that it disproportionately affects women of color. The CDC reported the highest incident rate recorded among Latina women, affecting every 16 out of every 100,000 and the highest death rate among African American women totaling 5 out of every 100,000. Whereas in other racial demographics, the incident and mortality rates are less than half of that.
Bringing awareness to cervical cancer is important not just for women but men as well. Men are also susceptible to contracting HPV and developing cancer from the virus.
Educating and providing as much information as possible to the general public about this disease can help disease prevention.
Furthermore, educating preteens, teens, young adults, mature adults alike can increase awareness about this disease. It crucial that college students are well informed about prevention of this disease since it directly affects them.