Monday, June 26, 2023

Cervical Cancer: Understanding a Fatal Female Disease

 


Leading health and beauty retailer Watsons encourages the public to stay protected against cervical cancer.

 

In the Philippines, cervical cancer is the second most frequent cancer among Filipino women, especially those aged 15 to 44 years old.[1] 7,897 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer yearly and from that number, 4,052 of them succumb to the disease.[2] What’s more, cervical cancer also puts women at higher risk of miscarriage and infertility.

 

Certain strains  of the Human Papillomavirus or HPV are the main cause of cervical cancer.[3] It’s the most common sexually transmitted infection. Sexually active people, even with just one partner, can get HPV. This can be passed on even when they have no signs or symptoms of the infection.[4]  Fortunately, HPV is a vaccine-preventable disease.

 

"Vaccination provides an extra layer of protection. We are working to help build healthier communities by making vaccination more convenient and ensuring that customers always have access to accurate health information," says Jared De Guzman, Customer Director of Watsons.

 

 

Symptoms

 

Cervical cancer starts in the cervix which connects the vagina, the birth canal, to the upper part of the uterus. Commonly known as the womb, the uterus is where a baby grows during pregnancy. Anyone with a cervix is at risk for cervical cancer, and the risk grows with age as this occurs most often in people aged over 30.[5]

 

Unfortunately, cervical cancer may not show signs and symptoms in its early stages. More often than not, it's already in the advanced stage when there's bleeding or discharge from the vagina that is abnormal for you, including bleeding after sex.[6]

 

If you start noticing any of these signs, immediately see your doctor. The symptoms may be caused by something else, but the only way to know you have cervical cancer is to see your doctor.[7]

 

Prevention

Schedule your regular screening tests with your doctor. The Pap test, commonly known as Pap smear, looks for precancerous cells.[8]

 

You can also have a regular HPV test since it looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes. But the greatest preventive measure against cervical cancer is the HPV vaccine.[9]

 

The HPV vaccine not only protects you against the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer but also the types of HPV that cause vaginal and vulvar cancers. This vaccination is recommended for preteens aged 11 to 12 years old but can be given at age 9, with your family doctor's go signal.[10]

 

If you missed the HPV vaccine in your preteen years, you can still get it until 26 years of age. Although it's not recommended for everyone older than 26, you can still talk to your doctor about it and get vaccinated until 45 years old.[11]

 

Cancer is a life-altering disease that everyone wishes to avoid. To ensure that the women in our lives live long and happy lives, we must encourage them to prioritize their health and choose to be protected against all preventable diseases.

 

As every Filipino's health partner, Watsons makes it easier for you to have a good quality of life. You can easily schedule your HPV vaccination through the Watsons Health Hub or visit any of the 1000+ Watsons stores nationwide and ask their pharmacists. On your vaccination day, a free doctor’s assessment is included in their service.

 

Stay Protected

 

Through Watson’s amazing network, they’re able to provide you with different products and services to ensure that you can look after your overall health and wellness through accessible and affordable means. From June 15 to July 15, 2023, the Watsons Hub in SM North EDSA The Grand will offer free teleconsultation services to Watsons Pharmacy customers.

 

In partnership with The Medical City, the teleconsultation can provide patients with enhanced remote care through in-depth, physical examinations such as checking the heart rate, lung sounds, throat exam, ear exam, and taking temperature. After getting your diagnosis, you can buy the doctor’s prescription at the Watsons Pharmacy beside the clinic.

 



[3] Basic Information About Cervical Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/index.htm. Accessed on May 15, 2023.

[4] HPV Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm#:~:text=What%20is%20HPV%3F,including%20genital%20warts%20and%20cancers. Accessed on May 15, 2023.

[5] Basic Information About Cervical Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/index.htm. Accessed on May 15, 2023.

[6] What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/symptoms.htm. Accessed on May 15, 2023.

[7] What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/symptoms.htm. Accessed on May 15, 2023.

[8] What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Cervical Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/prevention.htm. Accessed on May 15, 2023.

[9] What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Cervical Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/prevention.htm. Accessed on May 15, 2023.

[10] What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Cervical Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/prevention.htm. Accessed on May 15, 2023.

[11] What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Cervical Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/prevention.htm. Accessed on May 15, 2023.

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