What is cervical cancer?
Female reproductive system consists of ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus (womb) and the vagina.
Cervix is the neck of the womb, which is visible during a vaginal examination. Cervix is made up of millions of tiny cells. Sometimes, some pathological changes can occur to these cells without you knowing it. These changes, if left untreated, could develop into cervical cancer. Among which, the infection of the cervix with human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most common cause of cervical cancer. These abnormal cells are called intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). If left untreated, they may slowly become cancerous.
Are you risky?
All women may have the risk of developing cervical cancer. Your risk increases if you are:
Had multiple sexual partners;
Had a history of sexually transmitted infections, such as genital warts or genital herpes
How to prevent?
Reducing early sexual activity and the numbers of sexual partners;
To use condom during sexual intercourse as a form of protective measure;
To do regular Pap smear test;
Sexually active women above 25 years old are advised to have a Pap smear regularly. An initial smear is performed once a woman is sexually active and repeated after one year. After that, the Pap smear can be done once in one to three years as advised by the doctor.