It is no news that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month; it’s the 17th day, have you scheduled your pap smear yet?
Peradventure you are yet to do so, this is a soft reminder that life is short, we do not need to shorten it further through our inaction.
Cervical cancer is more common than you think and the statistics are not looking good for a disease that is totally preventable.
It is one of the leading causes of death among the female population of reproductive age. One woman die globally from cervical cancer every two minutes and, wait for it, it is actually one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer!
It’s 2019, no woman should die from cervical cancer. You shouldn’t. You won’t.
But it requires more than wishful thinking, positive affirmations or prayers.
Cervical Cancer Prevention
Cervical cancer can often be prevented by having regular screenings to find any precancerous cells and treating them.
Some cervical cancer risk factors are controllable such as:
- Delaying first sexual intercourse until the late teens or older
- Limiting the number of sex partners
- Avoiding sexual intercourse with people who have had many partners
- Avoiding sexual intercourse with people who are obviously infected with genital warts or show other symptoms
- Quitting smoking
You have probably heard about Cervical Cancer Screening.
It (screening) is used to look for cancer or abnormalities that may become cancerous before you have any symptoms or signs. The objectives of cancer screening are to:
- Reduce the number of people who die from the cancer, or completely eliminate deaths from cancer
- Reduce the number of people who develop the cancer
WHAT IS PREVENTING YOU FROM GETTING YOUR CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING DONE?
I recently spoke with a few women on what was stopping them from having their pap smear and while procrastination sits somewhere near the top of the list, FEAR takes the topmost position.
A few years ago, I was also in that position before I summoned courage to kick my fear in the groin and I have not looked back since. I have already scheduled my appointment, again.
You too can do the same, I am rooting for you. Just do it.
I promise the screening is nothing like the picture of pain in your head.
Total time for the actual test is not guaranteed to exceed 5 minutes! Unbelievable, right?
That is too little a sacrifice to pay for your peace of mind.
Let me tell you a verifiable story as seen recently on Instagram. A young upwardly-mobile woman strolled casually in for her routine smear, your guess is as good as mine -abnormal / cancerous cells were discovered.
There were no symptoms prior to the screening and thankfully for her, treatment started early and she is cancer-free today.
She is just one of the many victory stories around. But the losses are more, sadly.
That is why this campaign matters. A great deal.
We have to take full charge of our health and well being, exercising control where it matters by being proactive.
Go get smeared.