Embarking on a journey to safeguard your well-being starts with knowledge and proactive choices. In recognition of Cervical Health Awareness Month, we delve into some cervical health essentials by answering frequently asked questions.
Understanding the significance of early detection and prevention strategies can be pivotal in steering the course towards a healthier future for you and your family.
WHAT IS PAP SMEAR TEST?
This is simply a cancer screening test (most especially for Cervical cancer), which is done to detect any cell abnormality. It could also be done together with HPV Tests to identify if any of the high-risk strains are present within the body.
HOW LONG DOES THE PAP TEST TAKE?
The procedure for collecting the specimen doesn’t take more than 30 mins. The results are usually out anywhere between two to three weeks.
IS THE PAP TEST PAINFUL?
I wouldn’t say it is or isn’t; however, I will say that if there is pain, it’s a bearable one.
Women who have had to do the test or who have had to do a vaginal examination would relate better.
HOW ACCURATE IS A PAP SMEAR TEST?
It is highly accurate and recommended as the foremost means of cervical cancer screening.
HOW OFTEN IS THE PAP TEST NEEDED?
You need to do the test routinely every 3-5 years.
WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER?
This type of cancer affects the Cervix ( mouth of the womb). It sounds serious, right? That is because it is, and we stress it a lot.
HOW COMMON IS CERVICAL CANCER?
Cervical cancer and Breast cancer are the two most common types of cancer in women, so yes, it’s pretty much common.
IS EVERY WOMAN AT RISK OF HAVING CERVICAL CANCER?
Yes, being of reproductive age and equally being sexually active is all the risk it takes. So yes, even girls as young as 13 are at risk once they hit puberty and engage in sexual activity.
WHAT CAUSES CERVICAL CANCER?
HPV. HPV has so many strains that cause different illnesses, but there are some specific cancer-causing strains (mostly type 16 and 18) which are very much present in Nigeria.
Smoking, overuse of contraceptives and autoimmune disorders also cause a small percentage of cervical cancer.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL CANCER?
Sometimes, it could be silent without symptoms, which is typical cancer behaviour until it gets serious. This is why we opt for regular Pap smear tests for early detection.
In later stages, symptoms could include:
- pain in the pelvis (waist)
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Abnormal, irregular, or heavy menstruation or even spotting.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding.
- Weight loss and
WHAT OTHER COMPLICATIONS CAN I GET FROM CERVICAL CANCER?
Having the cancer itself is all the complications a person could need.
Aside from the risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body, it would eventually lead to death if not detected on time or handled effectively.
Cervical cancer affects both the physical and mental health of people.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM CERVICAL CANCER?
You can start by getting vaccinated against HPV, which is the leading cause of cervical cancer. This is a very important part of taking charge of your health.
Also, maintaining a good sexual habit by using condoms and sticking to a single sexual partner could drastically reduce the risk of exposure.
WHERE CAN I GET THE PAP SMEAR DONE?
You can book your HPV screening or pap smear and get it done in the comfort of your home anywhere in Lagos. Or visit any Inocul8 access point across the country. Call us or send us a WhatsApp Message at +2347063736485 or email us at clinic[at]inocul8.com.ng
WHERE CAN I GET THE HPV VACCINE?
Like the test, you can have the vaccination done anywhere you choose -at home, your office or any of our vaccination access points. Make your bookings at cowva.com/booking or reach us at +2347063736485 if you are unsure which HPV vaccine is right for you.