Cervical Cancer: Am I At Risk?
A risk factor is anything that increases an individual's chances of getting a disease. Some of the risk factors of Cervical Cancer include;⠀ HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV) Any sexual, intimate or skin to skin contact (around the genital or oral areas of the body) with the opposite sex could expose you to high-risk HPV. Both men and women can have HPV. HPV can cause several cancers in both men and women including cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) and cervical cancer (in women). NOT HAVING REGULAR CERVICAL SCREENING TESTS Cervical cancer is the only cancer with a pre-cancer stage. Early changes, which may or may not develop into cancer, appear as abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix and can be picked up by a screening test. When women have their cervical screening tests, any abnormalities can be treated before it turns into cancer. Most women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer have NEVER had a screening test. SMOKING⠀ The chemicals found in cigarettes and tobacco can damage the DNA of the cervical cells, which may contribute to the development of abnormalities. HAVING MULTIPLE SEXUAL PARTNERS⠀ Although, you can be exposed to high risk HPV from just ONE partner. SEXUAL INTERCOURSE AT AN EARLY AGE The earlier the age of first sexual intercourse, the higher the chances of being infected with HPV. Commit to get your cervical screening test done this month. Don't put it off any longer. HERE are a list of screening centres across Nigeria.