Discover the Risks of Developing Cervical Cancer
The risk factors for developing cervical cancer are well understood. There is now a vaccine to protect young women from the strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is what causes most cervical cancers; and, with regular Pap tests, the early stages can easily be identified. This virus is passed from one person to another by skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity.
So, what are some things that can put you at risk? Bear in mind, this is not an exhaustive list and more research is always being done. But for now, some things that can increase your risk factor for developing cervical cancer include:
Becoming sexually active at a young age, as young women are more susceptible to HPV infection since the cells of the cervix are undergoing rapid change at puberty.
Having multiple sexual partners. Women who have many partners or who have sex with partners who have had many partners, have a greater chance of getting HPV.
HIV infection is another factor due to the fact that the immune system of a woman infected with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) is less able to fight both the human papillomavirus and early cancers.
Having a weakened immune system, such as women with chronic fatigue syndrome, women who have had organ transplants and women who are taking steroids are less able to fight HPV infection.
Smoking appears to be a contributing factor, along with HPV in causing dysplasia, which may progress to cervical cancer.
These factors are easily avoided by taking proper precautions and being smart. Remember, the road to cervical cancer prevention starts with you!
Laura Guthrie is a former cancer patient who successfully recovered. She now shares her best of the best information to give back.