Cervical cancer is one of the deadliest diseases that attack women in Indonesia. Reporting from the official website of the Indonesian Ministry of Health, there are at least 15,000 cases of cervical cancer in Indonesia every year. Although scary, basically cervical cancer can still be prevented. What is the correct way to prevent cervical cancer? Check out the following review!
Recognizing Cervical Cancer
Before knowing the prevention of cervical cancer, you should first identify what cervical cancer is. Cervical cancer is cancer that appears in the cervix which is part of the female reproductive system. The cervix or cervix is between the vagina and the uterus.
This cancer is triggered by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Although not all women with HPV can develop cervical cancer, if you have had HPV, you have a high risk of developing cervical cancer. HPV itself can be transmitted through sexual intercourse.
How to Prevent Cervical Cancer
Cancer that is detected early will be easier to treat, but even better if cancer can be prevented early. Cervical cancer can attack every woman, so knowledge about cervical cancer prevention should also be known by every woman.
Here are some cervical cancer prevention steps that can be done:
1. Routine pap smear examination
Regular Pap smears can be a way to prevent cervical cancer.
A Pap smear is an examination performed to take a sample of cervical cells to determine whether there are cells that have the potential to develop into cancer. Cells that have the potential to develop into cancer are not certain to develop into cancer, but it is better if they are removed early on.
Pap smear examination should be carried out regularly every 3 years by women aged 21 years or who are sexually active until they are 65 years old.
2. Routine HPV screening
In addition to the pap smear examination, the HPV test is also an important test to do for cervical cancer prevention.
As previously mentioned, cervical cancer develops from HPV. The HPV test can be done alone or in combination with a Pap smear. Women over the age of 30 are advised to have an HPV test or HPV with a pap smear every 5 years.
3. Get cervical cancer vaccine
The trigger for cervical cancer is HPV, so the vaccine used to prevent cervical cancer is the HPV vaccine.
HPV consists of more than 100 types, but the most that cause cervical cancer there are two types, namely types 16 and 18. This vaccine is usually given before a person is sexually active. The age of 9-13 years is the most recommended because the vaccine is considered to be more effective at working on a good immune system at that age.
If it is too late to get the vaccine, women can still get this vaccine until the age of 26 years. However, if you are already sexually active, women must first have a Pap smear before getting the vaccine.
The HPV vaccine is not only for women but also for men. The HPV vaccine in men serves as the prevention of genital warts, penile cancer, anal cancer, and the prevention of HPV transmission to partners.
4. Avoid risky sex
Prevention of cervical cancer that can be done next is to avoid risky sexual relations.
HPV can be transmitted through sex, this risk will certainly be higher if you do not use condoms or if you change partners. HPV can be transmitted from a variety of sexual contacts, including skin contact between the genitals, oral, vaginal, anal sex, to the use of sex toys.
5. Avoid smoking
If you don’t want to get cervical cancer, smoking is one that you should avoid because smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for cervical cancer.
Women who smoke and inhale secondhand smoke have an increased risk of cervical cancer among women infected with HPV. The risk was further increased in women who smoked more over a longer period of time.
6. Maintain a diet
Food with balanced nutrition can be food to prevent cervical cancer.
In addition to eating nutritious foods, don’t forget to avoid various foods that can trigger cancer.
Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables will be good for your overall health and can be a natural way to prevent cervical cancer. While the types of foods that should be avoided or limited in consumption because they can trigger cancer are foods high in trans fat, processed foods, and drinks that contain preservatives, alcohol, and many more.
7. Maintain ideal body weight
Maintaining an ideal body weight can also be a preventive measure for cervical cancer.
Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of various chronic diseases, including cervical cancer. Meanwhile, below ideal body weight can also lower the immune system which makes the body more susceptible to disease.
Maintaining an ideal body weight can be done by maintaining a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
There are various ways to prevent cervical cancer that can be applied by every woman. Cervical cancer can attack anyone, so every woman should be aware of this one disease. Implementing a healthy lifestyle will greatly help prevent cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer often causes no symptoms at an early stage and is only detected after entering an advanced stage. Don’t forget to regularly check yourself so that cancer can be detected early and get treatment faster.