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Things you need to know about cervical cancer

Updated: 2020-04-17


Cervical cancer is currently the only cancer with clear etiology, the biggest culprit is HPV (human papillomavirus) and the main route of infection is through sexual transmission.

Therefore, HPV infection may occur as long as your sexual life is available. In a woman's lifetime, there are countless opportunities to be infected with HPV. The good news is that most people are able to clear HPV through autoimmunity.

1. Women with the following behaviors are at greater risk of cervical cancer:

  • Initial sexual activity before 18 years of age.

  • Plenty of sexual partners and disordered sexual life.

  • Childbearing at an early age, having three or more births.

  • Suffering from cervical diseases such as chronic cervicitis.

  • Smoking, frequent oral contraceptives.

  • Do not pay attention to personal hygiene, often stay up late.

  • 20 to 50 years old, introverted and solitary.

  • Infection with high-risk HPV.

2. If you have the following symptoms, which may be associated with cervical cancer, you need to go to the hospital immediately for an examination:

  • Abnormal leucorrhea, such as bad smell of leucorrhea, yellow leucorrhea, purulent leucorrhea, etc.

  • Bleeding during sexual life.

  • Postmenopausal hemorrhage.

3. Prevention measures for cervical cancer:

(1). For women.

a. Condoms must be worn during sexual life.

b. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Avoid premature marriage, excessive fertility, premature sexual behavior, sexual contact with high-risk men, and menstrual sexual life.

c. Vaccination against HPV.

Current HPV vaccines are divided into 2-valent, 4-valent and 9-valent vaccines. The following are the types of anti-HPV vaccines with three titers and their applicable targets:

  • 2-valent vaccine: for women aged 9-45.

  • 4-valent vaccine: for women aged 20-45.

  • 9-valent vaccine: for women aged 16-26.

d. Cervical cancer screening.

Women who are sexually active should remember to be screened for cervical cancer, especially those with early marriage and early childbearing, multiple births and familial genetic susceptibility.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends:

  • Women under 21 years of age: no screening for cervical cancer is necessary, whether they have sex or not.

  • Women aged 21-29 years: liquid-based cervical thinprep cytologic test (TCT) every three years.

  • Women aged 30-65 years: TCT + HPV joint test every five years.

  • Women over 65 years of age: screening is no longer required if the results of previous multiple examinations are negative.

(2). For men:

a. If the foreskin is too long, circumcision is recommended.

b. Actively wear condoms for the safety of both partners.

c. Urge women to have regular gynecological examination and cervical cancer screening.

4. Two major misconceptions about HPV and cervical cancer.

(1). Myth 1: Infection with HPV is equivalent to cervical cancer.

Infection with HPV does not mean cervical cancer, and most women can clear HPV through the autoimmune system within 6-18 months of HPV infection.

A small number of women have the potential to cause respectful precancerous lesions because they are unable to eliminate HPV entering the body through their own immune system, resulting in persistent infection with HPV. Some of these patients will further develop cervical cancer, a process that lasts about 5 to 10 years.

(2). Myth 2: If you get HPV vaccine, you won't get cervical cancer, so you don't need to screen for cervical cancer.

HPV vaccines do not prevent cervical cancer 100 percent and even if vaccinated, they should be regularly screened for cervical cancer.

If you want to prevent cervical cancer, you should first standardize your own behavior, followed by regular early screening for cervical cancer, HPV screening, etc.

From HPV infection to cervical cancer is a long process. If a viral infection is found in any link, timely treatment can effectively achieve the purpose of preventing cervical cancer.