Cervical Health Awareness Month 2021
Awareness events are held throughout the year for a variety of different causes and reasons, including health and wellbeing issues. They provide an opportunity to raise awareness and educate people all around the world, something that is particularly when it comes to life-changing diseases and conditions such as cancer.
Cervical Health Awareness Month is one of these and here we take a look at what it involves, how people can take part and why screening is so important for women.
What Is Cervical Health Awareness Month?
Cervical Health Awareness Month focuses mainly on avoiding infection by the human papillomavirus or HPV and the role of this sexually transmitted infection in the development of cervical cancer.
The purpose of the event is to educate and inform women of all ages about the potential dangers and how maintaining good cervical health can help reduce the risk of serious disease.
When Is Cervical Health Awareness Month?
Cervical Health Awareness Month takes place in January each year and events supporting it are held around the world.
How to Get Involved with Cervical Health Awareness Month?
There are different ways to get involved with this month-long event. People can join in and start a conversation online using social media, using the hashtag #cervicalhealthmonth and sharing links to informative articles. There are also webinars and videos posted online on how to maintain good cervical health and avoid contracting HPV.
Individuals can also buy the teal and white ribbon that was created to support those with cervical cancer and this is a great way to get people talking.
Understanding Cervical Health Issues
More than 13,000 women each year are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the USA alone. The disease is the 4th most common type of cancer in women and is largely preventable through regular screening and vaccination. If it is caught early enough, cervical cancer is highly treatable.
The cervix is a canal between the opening of the vagina and the uterus and helps to act as a barrier, keeping unhealthy things away from the reproductive organs. During sexual intercourse, the cervix acts as a channel for the sperm to reach the ovaries and when someone is pregnant it helps keep the developing baby in place until birth.
One of the key things to understand about cervical cancer is that around 70% of cases are caused by the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that is fairly common in modern society. Both men and women can catch it and the virus is most commonly found in those who are sexually active or have multiple partners.
In most cases, HPV resolves on its own and many people don’t even know that they have it. In a few cases, however, the HPV stays in the body and can cause the cells in the cervix to mutate, potentially leading to cancer. Cancer can develop in the squamous cells or the gland cells for the cervix or both and initially, there may appear to be few if any symptoms.
Later on, an individual might notice bleeding from the vagina between periods, discomfort during sexual intercourse and pain in the pelvic region.
Reducing the risk of contracting HPV reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer. One of the huge orthodox medical developments in recent years has also been the introduction of regular screening that helps spot the disease early as well as vaccinations that prevent HPV from infecting the individual.
The HPV vaccine has played an important role in reducing the incidence of the virus in both men and women. It was developed in Australia and was first used in 1990. The vaccine stimulates the body’s natural immune system to prevent HPV from getting a foothold and causing an infection.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 12 but can be given to older children and adults. The incidence of HPV has reduced because of the vaccine so getting vaccinated is a powerful tool in preventing a potentially life-threatening condition such as cervical cancer.
The other approach to cervical health is regular screening. According to the latest guidelines, in the USA it’s recommended that women over the age of 24 and below 65 have regular checkups. This usually involves one of two tests or both, depending on the clinic.
- The HPV test checks if the human papillomavirus is present and is more accurate in determining if there is a risk for cervical cancer.
- The Pap test has been around since the 1950s and involves checking a sample of tissue for cells that are either pre-cancerous or cancerous.
Cervical health is important for all women and it’s essential to reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease such as HPV as well as having regular checkups. Cervical Health Awareness Month is the perfect time to educate people about how they can reduce their personal risk and avoid a life-changing disease such as cervical cancer.
The Miskawaan Way
Accompanying a vaccination against HPV, everyone should pay attention to a healthy lifestyle to maintain their self-healing powers through a strong immune system.
Miskawaan Health Group’s medical team can help you adjust your lifestyle and plan a balanced diet. Unique medical treatments developed by Miskawaan can help you optimize vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.