Learn How to Prevent Cervical Cancer
Did you know that cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable? Last year, 640 women in Ontario were diagnosed with cervical cancer and an estimated 150 died from the disease. But, with regular screening, appropriate and timely follow-up of abnormal results and HPV immunization–cervical cancer may never be your reality.
Being a woman myself, there is a lot that I’ve had to learn about cervical cancer. Especially how to protect myself. I didn’t know that most cervical cancers are diagnosed in women who have never been screened or have not been screened regularly.
To be honest; I am due to get screened. The more I researched, I discovered that women aged 21 to 69 should get screened for cancer with a Pap test every three years.
Cancer Care Ontario surveyed women in and Ontario in regards to cervical cancer. Forty-nine percent of women (including myself) didn’t know that cervical cancer is almost completely preventable.
It came as a surprise to me to find out that three-quarters of Ontario women hold the incorrect belief that a Pap test detects sexually-transmitted infections. In fact, a Pap test is a simple screening test that can help prevent cervical cancer.
The tests itself checks for abnormal cervical cell changes. It doesn’t test for other cancers in the reproductive organs, like ovarian cancer or for STD’s such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
I think one of the most important things to do to prevent cervical cancer is to get informed and keep up to date with check-ups!
I know that life gets busy. Going to get tested is probably the last thing most of us want to do, right? But, I’m positive that there are people in your life who love you and will appreciate that you are staying healthy for yourself and them. I know that I do it for my kids, husband and myself.
As I’ve mentioned, I have to practice what I preach and get checked. To be quite frank, this has lit a fire under me. Most diagnosed cases of cervical cancers are in women who are overdue or who have not had a pap test.
So ladies, get tested!
This April, Cancer Care Ontario has partnered with the Canadian Cancer Society to raise awareness about cervical cancer prevention and the importance of getting screened. So, be sure to call your doctor to book your Pap test today.
Visit www.cancercare.on.ca/paptest to learn more about the campaign or to find a clinic near you.
Did YOU know that cervical cancer could be prevented?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.