Cervical Health Awareness Month

“Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. But over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%. The main reason for this change was the increased use of screening tests. Screening can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early − in its most curable stage. Another way to prevent cervical cancer is to get vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes most cases of cervical cancer.

The American Cancer Society is actively fighting cervical cancer on many fronts. We are helping people get tested for cervical cancer, helping them understand their diagnosis, and helping them get the treatments they need. The American Cancer Society also funds new research to help prevent, find, and treat cervical cancer. Check out the links below to learn more about these activities.”   – American Cancer Society

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/specialcoverage/cervical-health-awareness-month

Early Detection and Prevention Symptoms:

  • Pelvic pain

  • Pain during Intercourse

  • Watery bloody vaginal discharge

  • Vaginal bleeding after intercourse

  • Bleeding between periods or after menopause

  • Feeling bloated and generally unwell

Side note on the Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Not all negative pap’s will result in cancer. We all have some strain of HPV in our bodies. Having HPV does not mean you will get cancer, it is just a usual precursor and a risk factor. Having HPV and a few of the symptoms is a much higher correlation.

We often wonder if having had early detection on her condition would have made her road less harsh. We know the stats and the outcomes and have had heavy hearts over the fact that the doctors took so long to recognize a very obvious condition. We have decided to move forward with life, not to dwell on the what if’s and to help people by telling her story. Early detection is the key, but prevention is the best medicine.

You can reduce your risk of every type of cancer by choosing to have a healthy lifestyle, here is how:

  1. Have your regular checkups and annual tests.

  2. Report symptoms to your doctor’s immediate attention.

  3. Advocate for yourself! Ask, push, clarify, follow up, get a second opinion, take charge of your medical consultations, be the squeaky wheel, do not let a doctor tell you there is nothing wrong, act quickly! If you do not feel like you are being listened to, find someone who will listen, do not wait!

  4. Get 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week.

  5. Get adequate rest.

  6. Eat fruits and vegetables, avoid fried and charred foods including processed meats.

  7. Don’t smoke.

  8. Limit alcohol intake.

  9. Get plenty of fresh water.

  10. Don’t stress.

Spread the word about cancer prevention and early detection. Help save someone’s life. Here are a few more resources for more information.  Thank you for joining me on this journey to improve preventative measures, XOXO – Brea