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Cervical Cancer

How to prevent cervical cancer through vaccination

WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER?

Cervical cancer is a cancer that occurs at the mouth of the womb. Cervical cancer is the second largest cancer affecting women in South Africa. WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER? Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by a virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is spread through body fluids and by having unprotected sex. You can reduce your risk of contracting HPV by having protected sex. In addition, you must have cervical screening every 10 years from age 30.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL CANCER

  • Bleeding between regular menstrual days
  • Heavier and longer menstrual periods than usual
  • Bleeding during sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic pain and lower back pain not related to your menstrual cycle
  • If menses reappear after a year
  • Unusual discharge
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Vaginal warts

CERVICAL CANCER IS PREVENTABLE AND TREATABLE WHEN DETECTED EARLY

FACTS ABOUT CERVICAL CANCER

DID YOU KNOW?

  1. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among South African women.
  2. In South Africa, girls aged 9-12 in Grade 5 receive the HPV vaccination through the Integrated School Health Programme.
  3. You must have cervical screening every 10 years from age 30

1. DELAY SEX DEBUT

The only way to be completely sure about preventing HPV infections and other STDs is to not have sex. The younger you are when you start having sex, the greater your risk for acquiring an HPV infection if you’re exposed to the virus.

Most people are likely to have HPV infections between ages 15-20, without showing any signs and symptoms.

2. GET VACCINATED AGAINST HPV

There is a vaccine that provides protection against HPV that is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer. Vaccination is available for girls aged 9-12. The vaccine is most effective if given to girls before they become sexually active. This is the most effective way to prevent this cancer.

3. PRACTISE SAFE SEX

Using a condom during sexual intercourse will reduce your risk of being infected with HPV and spreading it to others.

WHERE TO FIND MEDICAL SCREENING SERVICES?

Cervical cancer screening is offered by the public healthcare institutions free of charge to all women from the age of 30 as a national priority at:

  • Primary health clinics
  • District hospitals
  • In private health care institutions, screening is offered by General Practitioners and gynaecologists at a nominal fee.

GET VACCINATED AGAINST HPV

  • Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by a virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is spread through body fluids and by having unprotected sex. You can reduce your risk of contracting HPV by having protected sex. In addition, you must have cervical screening every 10 years from age 30.
  • There is a vaccine that provides protection against HPV that is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer.
  • Vaccination is available for girls ages 9 – 12. The vaccine is most effective if given to girls before they become sexually active. This is the most effective way to prevent this cancer

Medical References

This educational material has been approved by: · NDOH · Professor of oncologist : Prof Ruff · C4C medical advisor The material is aligned with the government policies in which c4c are members of.

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