January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Learn more, get involved, make a difference!

More than 13,000 women in the US are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year, but the disease can be preventable with appropriate screenings.

Cervical cancer occurs in the cells of the cervix. This is the lower part of the uterus, which connects to the vagina. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancers. When the body is exposed to HPV, the immune system will typically prevent the virus from attacking, but for a small percentage of people, the virus may survive for years, contributing to the process that causes some of the cervical cells to become cancerous.

Pap tests are one of the best ways of early detection and prevention of cervical cancers. Your first exam should be at age 21, typically testing every 3 years if the results are normal.

RISK FACTORS
– Smoking
– Using birth control for 5 or more years
– Given birth to 3 or more children
– Having several or more sexual partners

WARNING SIGNS
– Light bleeding or blood spots between menstrual periods
– Vaginal discharge changes: watery, foul smelling, or increased amount
– Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
– Bleeding during or after sex, or after a pelvic exam
– Increased or extended menstrual bleeding
– Pelvic or unexplained back pain
– Post menopausal bleeding
– Weight loss
– Loss of Bladder control
– Pain with urination
– Exhaustion, constantly tired.

If you notice any symptoms like this, don’t hesitate to speak up to your gynecologist or primary care provider. Early detection is key to treatment.

NATURAL WAYS TO BOOST CERVICAL HEALTH
– Get routine Pap tests, follow up any abnormal Pap tests. This can help us detect issues much sooner.

– Practice safe sexual relations. Although they are not as preventative as for other STDs, condoms can still help to keep the skin from becoming exposed to skin and lessen the chance of transmission.

– Decrease smoking. Cigarettes can cause the body to slow it’s natural immune response and speed up the growth of cancers in healthy tissue.

– Lower blood pressure and lower triglycerides. When these are too high in the body, they can create metabolic disturbances that may put you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolic syndrome can greatly increase your risk of cervical cancers.

– Acupuncture can help to decrease inflammation, swelling, or irregular cycles. It balances the hormones and can decrease stress on the nervous system and whole body. If you are experiencing any health issues, Acupuncture may be a gentle alternative way to help you feel more like yourself again. For a free consultation, call us today! We are here to help you. (631) 424-8602

RESOURCES:

  1. https://new.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/840964/
  2. https://www.nccc-online.org/hpvcervical-cancer/cervical-health-awareness-month/
  3. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html