Cervical cancer is still a thing

New data suggests that less than three-quarters of women invited to have cervical screening actually take it.

Illustration of cervix and cancer fighting tape.

Illustration of cervix and cancer fighting tape. / Composition: LatinAmerican Post

The Woman Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro

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Leer en español: Mujeres deben prestarle atención al cáncer cervical

As read on The Telegraph, a recent report from Cancer Research UK warns that cases of cervical cancer are growing among those in their late 20s. 

These findings, published to coincide with cervical cancer prevention week, lead experts to conclude that progress has been slow during the past decade and that there has been a rise of 54% of cases among women between the ages of 25 to 29. 

More than 3,000 women are being diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in the UK. Cancer Research UK’s chief executive Michelle Mitchell said: “These figures highlight a worrying trend that shows progress is stalling and stagnating, which could undermine this success.”

“Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented through screening, and now the disease is far less common in the UK. But these life-saving programs can’t help people they can’t reach, which is why it’s important for us to continue to raise awareness”, he added according to The Sun. 

As read on Cancer.org, cervical cancer was one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women, but death rate dropped significantly with the use of the Pap test.

Also read: Women at higher risk of heart diseases at a younger age

However, new data suggests that less than three-quarters of women invited to have cervical screening actually take it. As read on Pharmatimes, around four out of 10 women who didn’t attend said they felt embarrassed and two out of 10 were worried it might hurt. Others said they did not feel at risk. 

According to Cancer Research UK, some factor risks for developing cervical cancer are:

  1. Age, since more than half of sufferers are under 45
  2. HPV infection 
  3. Smoking, which is responsible for 2% of cases
  4. Contraceptive pill, linked to 10% of cases
  5. Having children
  6. Family history of cervical or other types of cancer, like vaginal

Also, in the United States, Hispanic women are most likely to get cervical cancer, followed by African-Americans, American Indians and Alaskan natives, and white women. Asians and Pacific Islanders have the lowest risk of cervical cancer in this country.

Some of the most common symptoms include:  

  • Pain during sex
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge that smells or looks different from the usual
  • Pain in the pelvis
  • Lower back pain

It is important to have in mind that figures from Cancer.org suggest that in 2020 about 13,800 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed and about 4,290 women will die from cervical cancer.

As Professor Peter Johnson, NHS clinical director for cancer said: “cervical cancer has the potential to become a thing of the past. It is vital that people go for their screening tests, even if they are completely well. It could be a lifesaver.”