Related Topics: Cancer

Cervical Cancer Smears & You

Dr Bond reacted strongly to news recently in the press about ovarian screening from smears and here she tells us why.

Dame Dr Shirley Bond

In the press last week it has been reported that the International Journal of Cancer that if women have had the HPV vaccination they only need to have three cervical smears in their life time.

While it is true that HPV is possible the most common cause of cervical cancer and that the vaccine gives a high degree of protection from the effects of this virus on the cervix it is not the only cause if cervical cancer. If cervical smears are done so infrequently it is possible that cases of cervical cancer will be missed until they reach a late stage in the disease.

Other causes of cervical cancer are early sexual relationships, multiple sexual partners,smoking and taking the contraceptive pill.

If it becomes difficult for women to gave regular cervical smears it is important that they are aware of the early symptoms of cervical cancer and go to their GPs if they occur.

The early signs of cervical cancer are irregular bleeding, bleeding after sexual intercourse or pelvic examination, pain on intercourse and a vaginal discharge which might or might not be bloody.

Cervical cancer has become much less of a problem since the introduction of regular cervical smears. Let us not put the clock back .

Helpful information:

In the UK, around 7,100 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. It’s the fifth most common cancer among women after breast cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer and cancer of the uterus.

Ovarian cancer is most common in women who have been through the menopause (usually over the age of 50), although it can affect women of any age.

If you have any of the signs mentioned by Dr Bond then please do see your doctor to have the symptoms checked.

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