The month of January is indeed a special month. It ushers us into a new beginning of renew efforts and vigor over unfinished tasks from the previous year. January is more popular for bringing along the fever of “New Year Resolutions”, a fever that most contract and usually fail to follow to a logical conclusion.
However, this month is very popular in the health sector as the Month for Cervical Cancer Awareness. It is so possible you have come across the term Cervical Cancer, but do you really know what it really means. Well check out this article that explains, with minimal medical jargon, what Cervical Cancer mean and Why every woman should be screened for the disease.
Now to the awesome online campaign Health Army Nigeria is executing to get more women to go for Cervical Cancer Screening. It is tagged #JustDoIt.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
A lot of modern day women seem to have some working knowledge about Cervical cancer screening, ie Pap Smear. But most do not go for regular screening, or have never even been screened at all. This is why Health Army have decided to mount this campaign to remind sexually active ladies to plan a visit today.
Cervical cancer screening is recommended every 3 years for women aged 21-65. I must stress that cervical cancer was previously believed to affect younger ladies, but now studies show that older ladies are now being affected by Cervical cancer. So older women should be encouraged to go for the screening.
Before I forget, do you know that name “Pap” was coined from the name of the Doctor who first carried out the procedure, Papanicolau…?
THE POSITION OF THE CERVIX… PERFECT SELFIE OF A LADY’S INNER SIDE
This is a simplified version of the internal genitalia of the female anatomy. In case you have been wondering where is the position of the cervix, well take a close look at the graphic design… The cervix is the lower opening into the uterus, or the womb. It is from here, that cells are collected for analysis. This is why most ladies report the procedure as very uncomfortable.
Cells collected from a woman’s cervix during a pelvic exam are spread on a microscope slide for examination. The cells are evaluated for abnormalities, specifically for pre- cancerous and cancerous changes.
SHOULD ALL WOMEN BE INVOLVED IN CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING?
Cervical Cancer Screening is for the following group of women:
- All women between the age of 21 – 65 years should be screening every 3 years (for Pap smear procedure alone), and at every 5 years (for a combined Pap smear + Human Papilloma Virus test… 30years and above))
- Pregnant women can safely do a Pap Smear.
- Women have had a surgery called Sub-total Hysterectomy, ie partial removal of the uterus (or womb).
So if you fall within this category of women, Cervical Cancer screening is for you.
Do not give excuses like the ladies in the design above;
What if it is Painful and embarrassing?
It is best you endure some minutes of pain and embarrassment and save your life. Truth be told, it really is not as painful as some people make you believe. The procedure, like most medical procedure, is usually done with confidentiality as a watch word.
I Just don’t have time… Busy Schedule?
Make out time to see the doctor. Cervical cancer screening is usually done quickly and you would not have to spend the whole day in the hospital. In short, the whole thing would be done before you knew it.
It is not Relevant to me… Why do I need to Go?
Once you fall under the category of women listed above, it is best you go for it. You would be saving your life by being proactive… Prevention is Better, and usually cheaper, than cure!!!
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PAP SMEAR
If you are going for to have a PAP Smear done in the next two days, you SHOULD NOT:
- Douche – rinsing the vagina with water or any other fluid
- Use a tampon
- Have vaginal sex
- Use a birth control foam, cream, lubricants, jellies, or vaginal medicine.
- Schedule your Pap smear for time when you are menstruating. The best time is at least 5 days after your period stops.
Hope this helps!!!
RISK FACTOR THAT MAKES A WOMAN PRONE TO HAVING CERVICAL CANCER:
- Being overweight
- Any family member with cervical cancer
- Being younger than 17 the first time you gave birth
- Use of Oral contraceptive pills
- Multiple sexual partners
- Previous Human papilloma virus infection
- Low economic status.
And many more…