What is human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine and how you can avoid cervical cancer by taking the HPV vaccine

               What is human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine and how you can avoid cervical cancer by taking the HPV vaccine

What is human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine and what is cervical cancer ??_ ichhori.com


• With 70% of women feeling embarrassed about an HPV diagnosis, here's everything you need to know about the condition and the vaccine.


• According to King's College London research, the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine has reduced cervical cancer rates in women by 87 percent.


• Nonetheless, HPV and smear test results are shrouded in unnecessary shame. Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust research for Cervical Cancer Awareness Week this week (17-23 January) discovered that over 70% of women surveyed had an HPV diagnosis, with many expressing feelings of guilt, confusion, and anger, as well as concerns about relationships and infidelity as a result.


• A third (34%) reported feeling anxious or worried, and 35% expressed shame, embarrassment, or a sense of being dirty.


• According to Dr Vanessa Saliba, Consultant Epidemiologist in Immunisations at Public Health England, the HPV vaccination programme "prevented around 450 cervical cancers and around 17,200 pre-cancers by the middle of 2019."


• "These astounding findings confirm that the HPV vaccine saves lives by dramatically lowering cervical cancer rates in women." This serves as a reminder that vaccines are one of the most important tools we have for living longer, healthier lives."


• The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) causes cell mutations. Cervical screening has been shown to aid in the prevention of cervical cancer by detecting infection and abnormal cells, which can then be monitored or treated to prevent cancer from developing.


• With over 500,000 smear tests delayed or missed due to the pandemic, recognising the symptoms yourself is critical.


• Under normal circumstances, 1.5 million appointments (!!!) are missed each year due to fear, body consciousness, embarrassment, or 'busy schedules,' but fear of contracting coronavirus has caused attendance to plummet even further. In some parts of the UK, only half of eligible patients attend their smear test.


• According to Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, approximately 220,000 women are diagnosed each year as a result of cervical screening; however, more than a quarter (26 percent) of those surveyed said they felt ashamed when diagnosed.


• "Every year, over 21,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with gynaecological cancer (ovarian, cervical, womb, vaginal, and vulval), but awareness of their signs and symptoms is low," says Dr. John Butler, gynaecological surgeon at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). 


• "It's critical that women of all ages learn about their bodies and what to look for because the earlier a cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and the greater the chance of successful treatment."


• Every day, 58 women in the United Kingdom are given a life-changing gynaecological cancer diagnosis. Twenty-one of the 58 women will perish. That is why it has never been more important to recognise the early signs of cancer and why we need to start talking about gynaecological health more openly.


• Leading gynaecological cancer awareness organisations have been looking for ways to ensure that the information we need reaches us, so that we are equipped with the signs and symptoms that can aid in the early detection and treatment of gynaecological cancers.


• The good news is that proper screening can prevent up to 93 percent of cervical cancers, so health professionals are desperate to make us all aware of how life-saving cervical screenings can be.




• "It is estimated that the smear test programme, combined with proper treatment of the pre-cancerous changes that are occasionally found, saves the lives of up to 5,000 women per year who would otherwise have died of future cervical cancer," explains Andrew Pooley, Gynaecologist at New Victoria Hospital.



• "The smear test does not prevent pre-cancerous changes, but it does detect them in nearly all cases at an early and easily treatable stage," he added. As a result, it is critical that we prioritise them.


• We asked Andrew to go over everything we needed to know about cervical cancer, from what causes it to how to prevent it. Here's what he had to say about it:


1. What  is cervical cancer?

• "Cervical cancer occurs when cells in the cervix's lining (the lower part of the uterus, also known as the neck or the opening of the womb) grow abnormally and uncontrollably. 


• The main symptom is unusual vaginal bleeding. Screening for pre-cancerous changes in cells can aid in the prevention of cancer."


2. What are the symptoms of cervical cancer, and warning signs to look out for?

Cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms at all, or the symptoms may be subtle. However, the following are the most common symptoms of cervical cancer:


• vaginal bleeding that is unusual for you, including after the menopause, after sex, or between regular periods
• changes to vaginal discharge
• pain or discomfort during sex
• unexplained pain in your lower back or between your hip bones


It's important to remember that these symptoms can occur for a variety of reasons other than cervical cancer. However, if you notice these symptoms, you should contact your doctor right away so that they can provide you with reassurance and support."


3. What are the causes of cervical cancer?

• Cervical cancer is caused primarily by a virus known as high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). High-risk HPV can cause changes in the cervix's cells, which can lead to cervical cancer.


• "On average, this takes between five and twenty years. Knowing about risks can be beneficial because it can help you understand what you can and cannot control. However, it is important to remember that having any or all of the risks discussed on this page does not guarantee that you will develop cervical cancer.


4. How can I prevent cervical cancer?

• Human papillomaviruses are linked to nearly all cervical cancers (HPV). However, the vast majority of HPV-positive women do not develop cervical cancer. Women are predisposed to developing cervical cancer after being infected with HPV, but the cancer must also be caused by other environmental factors. 


• These include risk factors associated with one's lifestyle, such as smoking, or having lowered immunity to medical conditions or medications.


• "The most important step is to show up for your regular smear tests when they are scheduled. The smear test does not prevent pre-cancerous changes, but it does detect them early and at a treatable stage in almost all cases. 


• When it comes to health, having the right information is essential, so it's critical for people to understand why smear tests are so important and what the process of getting one entails."


5. Now that the first recipients of the HPV vaccine are of an age to have smear tests, can you comment on its success in reducing cervical cancer?

• More than 11 million people have been vaccinated against HPV since the NHS began offering it to teenage girls in 2008, and boys in 2019. According to recent research, rates of infection with HPV 16 and 18 (the highest risk types) have decreased from 15% to 2% in those who have been vaccinated. 
• Pre-cancerous cervical changes have been shown to be reduced by 51% in adolescent girls and 31% in women aged 20-24. Another advantage is that rates of infection with HPV types 6 and 11, which cause genital warts, have been cut in half, to 4%.


• Cervical cancer usually develops after at least ten years of HPV infection, and in many cases much longer. This means that it is too early to see a significant drop in clinical cancer rates, but with very high levels of reduction in the prevalence of the high risk HPV types that cause nearly all cervical cancers, a drop in cancer rates is highly likely to appear soon."


6. How can you find out if you have cervical cancer?

• "If you have symptoms, call your doctor's office and request an appointment. Your doctor may want to assess you over the phone to help you decide what to do next. They will decide on the next steps after learning more about your specific situation. 


• This will most likely entail a face-to-face visit with your doctor for an examination. If your doctor is concerned, he or she will arrange for you to see a hospital specialist as soon as possible."


7. What are the cervical cancer grades and stages?

Individual cancer cells are classified into three groups based on how similar or dissimilar they are to healthy cells.


Grade 1: 

These cells resemble healthy cells. They grow at a slower rate than higher grades.



Grade 2: 

These cells resemble healthy cells and may grow more quickly.


Grade 3:

These cells do not resemble healthy cells in any way. They grow faster, which means they are more likely to spread. Grade 3 cancers may necessitate more aggressive treatment than lower grades.


Cervical cancer cases are classified into four stages based on the size of the growth and whether or not it has spread outside the cervix to nearby organs or elsewhere in the body [stage 1 means the growth is small and hasn't spread, stage four means the growth is larger and has spread]."


8. What are the treatments for pre-cancerous changes, and for cervical cancer?

• Smear tests, when performed on a regular basis, aid in the monitoring of any changes in cells and the detection of pre-cancerous cells – something that is easily treatable and aids in the prevention of cervical cancer.


• The modern screening test looks for the presence of certain higher risk strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), not for the presence of cervical cancer. If HPV is discovered, the cells in the test are examined for signs of pre-cancerous cells, which, if discovered, are easily treatable in nearly all cases.


• Even if you have received the HPV vaccine, it is critical to have routine smear testing. Although those who have received the vaccine are much less likely to develop cervical cancer, some types of cervical precancerous changes are not prevented by the vaccines and are just as treatable if detected.


• Cervical cancer is treated differently based on its grade and stage. If doctors discover abnormal cells in your cervix that haven't turned cancerous, they can use a variety of treatments to kill or remove them. This is usually painless and is sometimes accomplished by applying a laser or a small electric current to the affected area.


• If the cells have turned cancerous, but the cancer is detected early, it may be possible to remove part or all of the cervix while keeping the uterus, allowing for the possibility of future pregnancies. Depending on the stage of the cancer, a hysterectomy may be recommended, along with radiotherapy to eliminate any cancerous cells that have begun to spread. If the cancer has spread, you may be offered radiotherapy as well as a combination of chemotherapy and surgery."


9. What are the cervical cancer survival rates?

Research UK, survival statistics for each stage of cervical cancer are available in England. These figures apply to people who were diagnosed between 2013 and 2017.


Stage 1:

Almost 95 out of 100 people (roughly 95 percent) will live for 5 years or more after being diagnosed with cancer.


Stage 2:

Almost 70 out of 100 people (nearly 70 percent) will live for 5 years or more after being diagnosed with cancer.

Stage 3:

Around 15 out of every 100 people (roughly 15%) will live for 5 years or more after being diagnosed with cancer.


Stage 4:

Around 15 out of every 100 people (roughly 15%) will live for 5 years or more after being diagnosed with cancer."








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