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Lifestyle Modifications to Avoid Cervical Cancer

Updated at: Jan 13, 2014
Written by: Ariba KhaliqPublished at: Jan 13, 2014
Lifestyle Modifications to Avoid Cervical Cancer

There are many lifestyle changes a woman can adopt to reduce her risk of developing cervical cancer. Know what they are.

Cervical cancer is the cancer of cervix- the body area that connects the uterus to external female genital tract. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) during sexual contact is the most common cause for the spread of this malignant tumour. Scientists have proved that preventive measures like contraceptives cannot stop it from entering a woman’s body.

cervical cancerHowever, experts believe that one-third of all cancers can be prevented through appropriate lifestyle changes. Cancer screening exams are important medical tests done when you’re at risk but don’t have symptoms. They help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are highest.

All risk factors that can increase your chance of developing cervical cancer need to be avoided in order to prevent the cancer. 75% of all men and women, who have had sex, develop HPV. Usually the body’s immune system handles the virus, and most people never know they have it. While most women with HPV will not get cervical cancer, you should be aware of the risk.

Understand the risk factors and measures to combat them.

Take a Pap Smear

One of the best ways to find cervical cancer in the early stages is to have annual Pap tests. This test’s full name is Papanicolau test, and it also may be called a Pap smear, cervical smear or smear tests. This test finds abnormal cells in and around the cervix.

If you are 21 years and older, it is recommended to have a Pap Smear done, as part of your routine healthcare. Depending on your age and health history, you can follow these guidelines:

Starting at 21 years, have a pap test every two years.

If you are 30 years and older, and have three normal Pap Tests in a row, you can talk to your doctor and space out Pap tests in a row, you can talk to your doctor and space out pap tests to every three year.

Get Vaccinated

A vaccine that helps protects against HPV is essential to prevent oneself from developing the tumour. This vaccine takes prevention a giant leap forward by blocking the first step along the pathway to cervical cancer and HPV infection.

Stick to One Sexual Partner

Studies have shown women who have many sexual partners increase their risk for cervical cancer. They also are increasing their risk of developing HPV, a known cause for cervical cancer.

Quit Smoking

Kicking the butt can lower the chances of getting many types of cancer like that of lungs, bladder, kidneys, pancreas, cervix, mouth, oesophagus, and throat including cervical cancer. Quitting may be hard but with right information, support and medicines, you can quit smoking for good.

Eat Healthy

Vegetables, fruits, legumes (for example, peas and beans), fish, poultry, and whole grains help prevent cancer. Consume them in ample amounts restricting the intake of fat (especially animal fat) in your diet.

Some researchers believe in certain supplements to be beneficial in preventing the cancer. If you want to take supplements to prevent cancer, talk to your doctor about what is safe for you to take. Eating healthy foods is still the best way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obese people have higher chances of getting some forms of cancer. Especially people with plump waist are at higher risk than those with fat thighs or hips.

A balanced diet comes into play again. Eating carefully and being physically active can help you reach the optimum number of pounds. As they say, inch by inch life is a cinch, take one step at a time to change your eating and activity habits.

Exercise Regularly

Of course, exercising helps you maintain a healthy weight along with burning the excess fat. Directly or indirectly, it helps to keep you away from cancer.

Being physically active and getting enough sleep may work together to lower your cancer risk even more than activity alone, especially for women. Again, remember the small steps- take stairs instead of elevators, and walk to the bus stand in order to be active every day.

Don’t Get Used to Oral Contraceptives

Scientific evidence is available to establish that taking oral contraceptives for a long period of time increases the risk of cervical cancer. Research suggests that the risk of cervical cancer goes up the longer a woman takes OCs, but the risk goes back down again after the OCs are stopped.

The fact is that cancer like most other diseases are caused by a variety of choices we make throughout our lives. Smoking, drinking, eating junk food, exposure to radiation, a sedentary lifestyle and many more factors play a part in causing cancer.


Read more articles on Cervical Cancer.


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