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Doctors are advising young women who are sexually active or have history of cancer in family to get a cervical cancer screening for early detection and prevention.
With the cervical cancer graph taking a rising trend in females around the globe. Doctors are beginning to advise young women who are sexually active or have history of cancer in family to sit for cervical cancer screening for early detection and prevention.
Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer. [Read more]
And India, where five percent of the population uses a condom as protection, has become a potent hub for cervical cancer.
Because of unsafe sexual practices — unawareness and wilful lack of safe sex practices between couples, having unprotected sex with multiple partners among newly sexually active youth, refusal to use condom and other protection to feel more pleasure and more — has lead to rise in sexually transmitted HPV virus!
Here by we discuss PAP SMEAR – the screening tests for cervical cancer and various infections.
It is a simple test which examines your cervical cells and examine if they are abnormal or cancerous. It also detects any infection if present.
The doctor takes a speculum to separate vaginal walls, they insert a swab and collect cells which are then sent to the Pathology department for examination. The procedure takes only a few minutes and is very safe.
The cervix is the lowermost part of the uterus that provides connection to the vaginal wall. During penovaginal sex, the sperms generally travel from vaginal wall, up to cervix and uterus where it gets fertilized.
Hence, cervix becomes a site for infection in case of unprotected intercourse with infected person or having unprotected sex with multiple partners.
Also, with the rising trend of various cancers in the world, cervical cancer is the most common cancer seen in females. Early detection of both HPV virus infection and cancer can be made by routine screening cervical cancer screening.
A female as she turns 21 years can start getting this screening test. Not all cervical cells require sexual intercourse to turn abnormal/malignant.
Hence, not sexually active female should also get screened as she turns 21 years because we have seen that many genetic factors and mutations also contribute in developing the cancer.
It is better to avoid doing a test while on periods as it can hinder the process of getting a clear and unbiased results.
There is no demonstrated side effect of the cervical cancer screening test till now. It is a very safe, reliable and easy test. You might feel little irritation/discomfort down post procedure for minutes, but very rare.
Inform your healthcare if the feeling lasts longer than a few minutes or a day.
The test results can be either:
There is an HPV vaccine, which currently is being administered to two groups of children between the age group of 9 and 12, and teens and young adults between the age group of 13 to 26, to learn more, read here.
Early detection of precancerous or cancerous cells on your cervix can increase your chances of successful treatment. Hence, highlighting this screening test is need of an hour.
Author is a doctor.
Image source: Luri Maksymiv, and Devonytu via Getty Images, free on CanvaPro
Doctor by passion, education and profession.
Helping world in early diagnosis and thereby early treatment. read more...
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
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