SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
Cervical cancer occurs in the cervix in the female reproductive system.
According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), more than 13,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the cancer occurs most often in women over 30-years-old.
Cervical cancer is caused by high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types and more than 70% of the cases are attributed to them.
HPV can be transferred from one person to another during sex.
The CDC says there are more ways that can increase the risk of cervical cancer than having HPV virus(es):
- Having HIV or other health conditions that make it hard to fight off health problems
- Using birth control for five or more years
- Given birth to three or more children
- Having several sexual partners
In the beginning stage, there are no symptoms of having cervical cancer.
When the cancer becomes, further along in development, like abnormal bleeding or discharge, go to your doctor.
The NCCC says it’s also one of the most preventable types of cancers.
The reasons why the cancer is preventable is screening tests and vaccine are available.
If the cancer is found early, then it’s treatable and associated with living a long life.
The most important thing that women can do to prevent cervical cancer from happening is to have regular screening tests beginning at age 21.
Girls can get the HPV vaccine starting at 11 or 12-years-old.