Cervical Cancer (cancer of the cervix) is a type of cancer that develops in a woman’s cervix (the entrance to the womb from the vagina).

Cervical Health Awareness Month (January) is a chance to raise

awareness about how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. HPV is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity. It’s also a major cause of cervical cancer.

Common warning signs of cervical cancer includes –

  1. Bleeding after intercourse

  2. Bleeding after menopause

  3. Bleeding between periods

  4. Bleeding after douching

  5. Bleeding following a pelvic exam

  6. Having heavier menstrual periods than usual or ones that last longer than usual

  7. Unusual vaginal discharge

  8. Pain during sex

  9. Pelvic pain

Of course, just because you have any of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. The symptoms could be caused by other conditions, like an infection. But it’s wise to schedule an appointment with your health care professional to get checked and, if appropriate, get treated.

The good news?

  1. The HPV vaccine (shot) can prevent HPV.

  2. Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.

Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer. Most deaths from cervical cancer could be prevented by regular Pap tests and follow-up care.

It’s very possible for women of all ages to develop cervical cancer, but the condition mainly affects sexually active women aged between 25 and 50. Cervical cancer is very rare in women under 25.

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