10 Truths to Know About Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women and is in the critical group of women aged 25-64. However, this cancerous disease can be prevented and detected on time. That is why it is crucial that you do not forget and skip the regular controls and Papa test.
1. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women
Globally, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women and the third cause of cancer deaths in women. About 500,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually worldwide, and nearly 300,000 women die from the disease.
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2. In Croatia, every third day, one woman dies of cervical cancer
It is estimated that in Europe every 18 minutes, and in the world, every two minutes from cervical cancer, one woman dies.
3. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause of cervical cancer
No type of cancer has such a strong causal effect on some known cause now as HPV and cervical cancer, so in as many as 99.7 percent of cancers, HPV infection can be proven.
Although condoms are effective protection against most sexually transmitted infections, they do not offer complete protection in the case of HPV
4. HPV is transmitted through sexual contact
HPV infection is very common among sexually active people, it is mainly transmitted during sexual intercourse and can be transmitted by direct touch from person to person, not just during intercourse. HPV infection is most common in adolescents and cervical cancer in women between 35 and 55 years old.
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5. Every other sexually active person is infected with HPV
About 630 million people worldwide are infected with HPV, and according to some studies in Croatia, about 60 percent of sexually active women and men are infected with HPV.
6. Cervical cancer mortality is 35 percent
In Croatia, about 300 women die of cervical cancer each year, and more than 100 women die. Most women with cervical cancer have probably never taken the Pap test or at least not done it in the last 5 years.
HPV infection is most common in adolescents and cervical cancer in women between 35 and 55 years old
Of the 1,200,000 women in Croatia who are among the most at risk of cervical cancer (25 to 64 years old), only 418,000 take the PAPA test a year. This means that 2/3 of the women do not perform regular checks, and the additional problem is that the same women are always tested.
7. Cervical cancer can be detected on time
The Pap smear is a simple test that can detect cervical cancer and abnormal cells in the cervix, but it does not indicate the main cause of cancer and abnormal cells due to the persistently present infection of “high-risk” types of HPV.
Another disadvantage of the Pap smear is 20 – 40 percent of false negative findings. Therefore, ongoing cytology is used as an additional search to detect HPV infection, because then the rate of false-negative findings is less than 5 percent.
8. Cervical cancer is the most serious complication of HPV infection
Because HPV infection usually has no signs or symptoms, most infected people are not even aware of it. Most HPV infections are detected only with abnormal Pap test results. Low-risk types of HPV can lead to genital warts: non-cancerous outgrowths of the flesh that appear on and around the genital area. HPV types 6 and 11 are responsible for 90 percent of all cases of sexual nipples.
Long-term infection with high-risk HPV types, such as types 16,18,31 and 45, can lead to cervical and other cancers in the genital area. HPV types 16 and 18 are jointly responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases.
9. Cervical cancer can be prevented
Although condoms are effective protection against most sexually transmitted infections, they do not offer complete protection in the case of HPV, because HPV may also be present in unprotected areas of the skin. A vaccine is available today that can protect women from HPV infection and cervical cancer.
10. Vaccination prevents cervical cancer
The first vaccine for HPV and cervical cancer, used in the US and EU, is also available in the Croatian market. The vaccine protects against infection with four types of HPV virus; types 16 and 18 that cause 70 percent of cervical cancers, and types 6 and 11 that cause about 90 percent of sexual nipples. The vaccine is 100 percent effective in preventing HP.