According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are around 8.2 million cancer-related deaths, making it one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity, worldwide. In the Philippines alone, cervical cancer ranks as the second most common cancer among women, curtailing the lives of approximately 12 Filipino women daily.
Cervical cancer starts in the cervix, the narrow opening into the uterus from the vagina, which is often caused by a group of more than 150 related viruses, particularly the human papillomavirus (HPV). While many deaths have been attributed to cervical cancer, it is one of the cancer types that can be prevented through screening and vaccination.
This is why Healthway Medical – the country’s most trusted and preferred network of mall-based clinics –continuously encourages women to undergo cervical cancer screening test to protect themselves against cervical cancer.
“Women can be prone to this type of cancer, which is why we are educating women about the disease,” Carmie de Leon, vice president for sales and marketing of Healthway Medical said.
“Cervical cancer often occurs during midlife,” De Leon added. “Precancerous cervical cell changes and early cancers often do not cause symptoms.”
Women aged between 35 and 55 years old are highly susceptible to cervical cancer. Statistics also show that while it is rare for women under the age of 20,it however, affects approximately 20 percent of women aged 65 years old and above.
Health experts believe that there are about 100 types of HPV. Some are high-risk which can cause cervical cell abnormalities. Two of these high-risk HPV types are HPV-16 and HPV-18, which cause more than 70 percent of cervical cancer cases.
Cervical cancer can also trigger other symptoms of more advanced diseases like abnormal or irregular vaginal bleeding such as bleeding between regular menstrual periods, bleeding after sexual intercourse, bleeding after washing, bleeding after a pelvic exam, bleeding after menopause, pain during intercourse, or vaginal discharge; pelvic pain not related to your menstrual cycle; increased urinary frequency; and pain during urination.
“Diseases are inevitable but, there’s a wide array of ways we can maximize to prevent the development of cancer,” De Leon said. “We should always be proactive when it comes to our health.”
She added, “At Healthway Medical, we always encourage our employees and corporate clients to undergo a regular cervical screening test because we truly want to change the attitude from seeing only a doctor when we are already suffering from pain to being proactive and responsible in taking charge of our own health.”
De Leon concluded, “In general, cervical cancer shows no symptoms at all, compelling women to become more responsible and vigilant all the time. At Healthway Medical, women can undergo an HPV screening to assure that their health and wellness are in tiptop condition. We can definitely reduce and prevent health risks through an early and proactive prevention strategy.”