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African American Women and Cervical Cancer

African American Women and Cervical Cancer

According to Medical News Today, “Black women are the second most likely demographic to develop cervical cancer. They are also more likely to die from this condition than white women”.

Here’s how you can beat it! Learn about it and get screened regularly.

What is cervical cancer?

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later. When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. The cervix connects the vagina (birth canal) to the upper part of the uterus. The uterus (or womb) is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. Anyone with a cervix is at risk for cervical cancer.

What are the risk factors for cervical cancer?

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by Human Papillomavirus Virus, also known as HPV. There are more than 100 different types of HPV. (National Cervical Cancer Coalition). HPV can be spread during sex. If your immune system is not able to get rid of certain HPV of strains, it remains in your body and over time turns your normal cells into abnormal cells and eventually cancer. Other risks factors for cervical cancer include unprotected sex, smoking, HIV.

What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?

Unfortunately, cervical cancer may not always come with signs and symptoms, especially when the cancer is in early stages. As cancer advancing, some signs and symptoms might include bloating, pelvic pain, or pressure, and spotting or vaginal bleeding, which could all be signs of gynecologic cancers.

What you can do to decrease your risk of getting cervical cancer.

•Get screened! Go to the doctor and have a Pap test regularly
•Quit smoking
•Use condoms
•Get vaccinated with HPV vaccines
•Looking for more information? Check out these great resources.

See Also

•National Cervical Cancer Coalition
•Foundation for Women’s Cancer
•American Cancer Society
•Centers for Disease Control
•Video about the signs of gynecologic cancers

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