January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and while the death rate of cervical cancer has gone down in recent years, it’s still an issue that plagues millions of American woman.
Here are some facts about cervical cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
- Roughly 13,800 new cases of invasive cervical cancer were expected to be diagnosed in 2020.
- About 4,290 woman were expected to die from cervical cancer in 2020.
- Cervical cancer is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages 35 and 44, with the average age of diagnosis being 50.
There are two types of cervical cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
One type is squamous cell carcinoma, which begins in the thin, flat cells lining the outer part of the cervix, which projects into the vagina.
Another type is adenocarcinoma, which begins in the column-shaped glandular cells that line the cervical canal.
Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods or after menopause, watery or bloody vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and pain during intercourse are some symptoms of cervical cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some suggested ways to prevent cervical cancer.
- Take an HPV vaccine. Receiving a vaccine to prevent HPV infection can reduce the risk of contracting cervical cancer.
- Have regular Pap tests. Pre-cancerous conditions of the cervix can be detected by Pap tests, which helps those conditions be monitored or treated. Many medical organizations recommend starting routine Pap tests at age 21.
- Practice safe sex by using a condom or limiting the number of sexual partners.
- Avoid smoking.