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Cervical cancer is a disease that occurs in the cervix – a part of the uterus connected to the vagina. Per the World Health Organization (WHO), cervical cancer is among the top 5 most common types of cancers affecting women globally. In 2020 alone, over 600,000 cases of cervical cancer were reported and caused over 340,000 deaths.
Dr. Kristina Butler, a gynecologist at Mayo Clinic, explains in an interview that Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is among the leading causes of cervical cancer in females.
However, Dr. Butler claims there are several ways women can reduce their risk of cervical cancer. The most important thing is to be updated on your HPV vaccine, which serves as the first line of action against HPV immunity.
Secondly, women should go for PAP smears and HPV screening tests. Both tests can be helpful in the early diagnosis and treatment of the disease before it can become deadly.
Additionally, Dr. Butler advises women to practice safe sex since HPV is spread through sexual or skin-to-skin contact. She warns that having intercourse with multiple partners without protection may lead to higher HPV risks.
Lastly, Dr. Butler advises women to stop smoking. Research shows that tobacco alters cervix cells’ DNA, leading to a higher chance of cancer. Furthermore, smoking lowers the body’s immunity to fight against diseases and infections.
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