January is observed as the Cervical Health Awareness Month and is a perfect opportunity to raise awareness about it. The entire month encourages women to be more attentive towards themselves, especially cervical health. Since it is one of the major health issues that is often neglected by women throughout their lives, by celebrating the awareness month, the motive is to bring their attention back to it.
Throughout the month, healthcare providers host several events to protect women from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. Patients who are well-informed about cancer and its treatment are often able to fight the disease and come out as a warrior. Hence, the awareness month aims to make people educated about cervical health.
If you are interested in knowing more about cancer and Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022, this article is for you. Here we will discuss this cancer, its precautions and treatments, ways to celebrate awareness month, and more. Read on and find out.
Understanding Cervical Cancer
Before we move further with learning how to observe Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022, let’s understand cervical cancer.
What Is Cervical Cancer?- Cervical cancer is a highly preventable and treatable disease that develops in a woman's cervix, which is the entrance of the uterus from the vagina. It starts in the cells lining of the lower part of the uterus, the cervix, and develops when cells begin to grow out of control. Such cancer is of different types, namely squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and mixed carcinoma. Although it is life-threatening cancer, it can be cured easily if diagnosed on time. It is the most successfully treatable among most cancers, but only if found early.
Causes and Risk Factors Of Cervical Cancer- The major cause behind cervical cancer is the unusual change in the tissue caused by sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). There are different strains of the HPV virus that, if not treated on time, lead to cervical cancer. Here are some of the major risk factors of this cancer:
- Having multiple sex partners
- Smoking cigarettes
- A weakened immune system
- Exposure to drugs for miscarriage prevention
- Early sex activity (before the age of 16)
- Taking birth control pills
- Having a family history of cervical cancer
- Having Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer- Although they are not usually felt until they are far along, knowing them might help get diagnosed before it’s too late. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Unusual bleeding while having sex, after menopause, in-between period cycle, or after a pelvic exam.
- Extreme pain while having sex
- Needing to urinate more often
- Uncommon vaginal discharge
- Kidney failure
- Pain in the pelvis
- Swollen legs
- Trouble peeing
- Weight loss and lack of appetite
Preventive Measures For Cervical Cancer: On the occasion of Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022, you must be aware of preventative measures so that you can teach others how to reduce the risk of getting it diagnosed. These measures won’t eliminate the risk but reduce it to a great extent.
- Receive HPV vaccine
- Practice safe sex
- Quit smoking
- Go for a routine Pap test
- Limit exposure to HPV
Different Types Of Tests For Detecting Cancer: This cancer is often diagnosed with abnormal HPV (human papillomavirus) or Pap test results. However, several other tests help in better understanding the condition.
- Medical history and physical exam
- Cystoscopy and proctoscopy
- Chest x-ray
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Positron emission tomography (PET scan)
- Intravenous urography
Cervical Cancer Treatment: This type of cancer is highly treatable via multiple methods. Here are some of the common methods that are being used for curing cancer.
- Radiation Therapy
- Targeted Therapy
Why Is It Important To Celebrate Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022?
Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women. In 2020, over 604,000 women were diagnosed with this cancer, and 342,000 deaths were reported from it. These rising numbers are a major reason for observing the awareness month. Although these numbers are quite tragic, this health condition can be prevented with appropriate precautions, vaccination, and regular screening. By observing the month, the women can be motivated to take care of their cervical health and make adequate lifestyle changes. Other than cervical health, the awareness month also sheds light on Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is again a deadly infection that can affect both men and women.
Also, because most people are not educated about such cancer or infection and won’t be able to get the right treatment on time, the observance of Cervical Health Awareness Month every year becomes even more crucial.
Ways To Observe Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022
- Gather facts and essential information about cervical cancer
Data and facts play a crucial role in learning about something. Before you step ahead to spread awareness, you must learn about cancer and its facts. So on the occasion of Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022, you must reach out to a local health agency and collect data from there. Also, make use of the internet to learn about cancer and important information related to it. Apart from using the collected data to expand your knowledge, you can spread it to make people aware.
- Organize a cervical screening camp or book appointment for your loved ones
Cervical screening holds the utmost importance in preventing the spread of cancer. Hence, this awareness month, you can get in touch with local healthcare providers, and with their assistance, you can set up screening camps in schools, organizations, or neighborhoods. Apart from this, you can also book checkups or screening appointments for your loved ones and get them checked this January.
- Participate in online events or host one
On the occasion of Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022, multiple events will take place, right from webinars to podcasts to live sessions. You can participate in such events and ask your friends, family members, and colleagues to join the same. Besides being a participant, you can also host an event on your own. Doing so will help make people aware of the symptoms and treatments of cervical cancer and HPV.
- Share stories of patients
Experiences are a powerful source of motivation. They provide valuable insight that goes far beyond statistics and outcomes. It helps understand how an individual gets impacted by cervical cancer and what it looks like to go through the process. The real-life stories motivate and assist in managing the diagnosis and getting it cured the right way. So, to participate or show your contribution to Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022, you can share the stories or call the survivors to do the same.
- Spread Awareness
Understanding cancer this Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022 will help demystify the disease and make survivors comfortable speaking out about it, asking questions, and advocating for their own health and well-being. By becoming knowledgeable, they can detect the issue at an early stage and accept treatment on time. Hence, make sure you help in spreading awareness and fighting cervical cancer.
- Host Fundraiser and Call For Donations
Fundraisers or donations are the best way to help those who need financial assistance to fight cervical cancer. A large portion of the population can’t afford the treatment, and hence, they end up losing their lives. So, to mark the Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022, you can host fundraisers or ask people for donations and then give them to health organizations to treat women who need the right treatment.
The awareness month is committed to helping prevent cervical cancer by spreading awareness about it. Now that you are well-versed with what this cancer is, its symptoms, treatment, and more, you can make the most of Cervical Health Awareness Month 2022. Make sure you contribute and bring a change to society. It’s rightly said, “Success is the sum of small efforts.”