Women Could Be Offered DIY Smear Tests At Home To Boost Number Of Cervical Cancer Screenings

In the UK, up to nine women per day are diagnosed with cervical cancer. On average, a third of these women lose their lives to the disease. 

This type of cancer is most common for women under 35, but luckily is can be prevented and effectively treated with regular smear tests available to women over 25 as well as HPV vaccinations. 

This week it’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week so the Standard spoke to Dr. Jan Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer at MEDIGO to find out more about detecting early signs.

Related slideshow: 11 things that can reduce your risk of getting cancer (Insider)

 For many, a cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest things imaginable. Though most cancers are treatable, it's always best to try and prevent serious medical problems before they have a chance to occur.  Here are a few things that, according to scientific research, can actually reduce your risk of getting cancer.>

What are the earliest signs of cervical cancer?

During the early stages of cervical cancer, you may not see any symptoms at all.

a woman talking on a cell phone © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Dr Schaefer explained: “The first to appear are typically unusual discharge or bleeding. As the cancer progresses, some other subtle signs might include constipation, blood in the urine, loss of appetite or fatigue. However, it is important to note that these signs alone are not indicative of cancer but, if they are, they won’t be warning signs but symptoms of the cancer progressing.

“This is why it is so important to attend your screenings regularly. In the UK, screenings are routinely offered to women from the age of 25 and repeated every three years.”

This type of cancer is most common for women under 35, but luckily is can be prevented and effectively treated with regular smear tests available to women over 25 as well as HPV vaccinations © Getty This type of cancer is most common for women under 35, but luckily is can be prevented and effectively treated with regular smear tests available to women over 25 as well as HPV vaccinations Below are six subtle symptoms of cervical cancer.

1. Vaginal discharge that is unusual in terms of smell, colour or amount

2. Abnormal bleeding between periods

3. Bleeding after intercourse

4. Increased menstrual bleeding

5. Pelvic pain

6. Pain during intercourse

While these symptoms don’t necessarily point to cervical cancer, they are reason enough to see your GP.

Video: Young Woman With Cancer Encouraging Others To Get Pap Smears Early (NowThisNews)

Replay Video
> > > > > UP NEXT 1 Cancel
SETTINGS OFF
HD HQ SD LO
Young Woman With Cancer Encouraging Others To Get Pap Smears Early > NowThis News See more videos
SHARE SHARE TWEET SHARE EMAIL
What to watch next
UP NEXT UP NEXT

What should you do if you think you have cervical cancer?

The first thing you need to do is make an appointment with your GP.

Dr Schaefer said: “The GP can then conduct a screening, which means that any cell changes can be caught before they become cancerous, or at the earliest stages.

“In the UK, the NHS offers cervical screening for women aged between 25 and 49 every three years, while women aged between 50 and 64 can be screened every five years. Those aged over 65 who have been screened in the past no longer need to be screened.

“A pap screening allows the doctor to test for any cell changes and deal with potential cancerous cells before they become cancerous, while an HPV test screens for the most common risk factor for cervical cancer, HPV. This is a sexually transmitted infection that can lead to cell changes and eventually to cancer. An HPV test can also be used in cases where a pap screening is inconclusive.”

Pap test © Getty Pap test

Is there any way to prevent cervical cancer?

While there is no way to completely prevent cervical cancer, there are some things you can do to decrease your chances of developing it.

“Girls between the ages of 12-13 are offered the cervical cancer vaccination, which protects against four types of HPV,” Dr Schaefer said. “While the vaccine doesn’t guarantee that you will never develop the cancer, it does reduce the risks.

“Practising safe sex can also decrease your chances of developing cervical cancer, as HPV, spread through sex and sexual contact, is linked to cervical cancer. Lastly, smoking can increase your risks of developing cervical cancer, for smokers are less able to rid the body of the HPV infection.”

If you think you might have symptoms relating to cervical cancer, make an appointment with your GP.

Source : http://www.msn.com/en-xl/asia/life-arts/cervical-cancer-symptoms-six-early-signs-to-look-out-for-according-to-a-doctor/ar-BBSzCkz

loading...
Cervical cancer symptoms: Six early signs to look out for, according to a doctor
Get to Know the Pap Test
New guidelines discourage annual Pap tests
'Concerning' dip in cervical cancer screens
A fraction of eligible women opt for HPV vaccine
Another antivaccine film disguised as a documentary, this time lying about HPV vaccines
KHN Morning Briefing
All Shows
6 tips for feeling rested when you haven’t slept a wink