Persistent infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a common way of developing cervical cancer, with young women being the most susceptible to infections with the virus. To reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer:
1. Reduce your chances of getting infected with the virus: Young girls and women who engage in sexual activity with multiple partners should use condoms. In case of repeated vaginal infections, visit your healthcare professional for screening.
2. Get a Pap test done every 3 years: Pap tests simply involve swabbing the cervix with a speculum to a sample then looking at the cells in the sample under a microscope to check for abnormal changes. Cervical cancer is one of those cancers that can be cured so regular pap testing is VERY important.
3. Quit smoking: The nicotine and other components found in cigarettes are able to pass through your blood stream and can become deposited in the cervix where they can alter the growth of cervical cells. Smoking can also suppress your immune system making it more susceptible to HPV infections. You can dramatically reduce your risk of smoking if you give it up.
4. Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet is one that is rich in unrefined food (white foods, processed meat, high-sugar biscuits and confectionary), fruits and vegetables. A diet consisting of whole foods provides a variety of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that work together to nourish your cells and keep them health.
5. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of insulin resistance, which may lead to type II diabetes and increase the risk of developing cancer. Women who have a waist circumference over 35 inches and men with a waist circumference over 40 inches are considered high-risk for a variety of diseases, including cancers. Check your waist circumference and lose weight if you need to by eating a healthy diet and performing moderate-high intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week.