I have finally completed my cervical cancer vaccine today. Yey!
Thanks to the great deal our company got from a pharmaceutical company. This the third and final shot of vaccine. It stings a bit for three days. The vaccine is also not recommended for pregnant women. The side effect that I experienced was delay in my period. Other than that, I am pretty fine. 🙂
As a woman, being protected and putting health in my priority list is a must. It is my personal responsibility to take care of myself because I am also responsible for taking care of my hubby and little one.
They say what you don’t know won’t hurt you. But what you do know could save you. Be informed. Be protected. Here are some facts about cervical cancer and the vaccine taken from Illinois Department of Health and Cervical Cancer Vaccine websites.
What is cervical cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which certain body cells do not function correctly, divide very fast, and produce too much tissue that forms a tumor. Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, the lower narrow part of the uterus (womb). Cervical cancer is a disease that can be very serious; however, it is one that you can help prevent. Usually it takes several years for normal cells in the cervix to change to cancer cells, but sometimes it can happen in a very short period of time.
Can cervical cancer be prevented?
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a vaccine that is highly effective in preventing HPV infection with types 16 and 18, two “high-risk” types that cause 70 percent of cervical cancers, and types 6 and 11, which cause 90 percent of genital warts. The HPV vaccine is recommended for 11- to 12-year-old girls, and if the doctor decides, the vaccine can be given to girls as young as 9. The vaccine also is recommended for 13- to 26-year-old girls/women who have not yet received or completed the vaccine series. The vaccine is given through a series of three shots over a six-month period. The vaccine should be given before sexual activity begins (before contact with the HPV virus). Those who have not been infected with any type of HPV will benefit the most from the vaccine. Girls/women who are sexually active should still be vaccinated because they can get protection from the HPV types that they haven’t been infected with.
Regular Pap tests are important for all women aged 18-70 who have ever been sexually active, even after the cervical cancer vaccine.
How are precancerous conditions treated?
Treatment depends on several factors, such as whether the lesion is low or high grade, whether the woman wants to have children in the future, the woman’s age and general health. A low-grade lesion may not need further treatment especially if the abnormal area was completely removed during the biopsy and can be watched with regular Pap tests. Cryosurgery (freezing), cauterization (burning) or laser surgery can be used to destroy the abnormal area without harming healthy tissue. The doctor also can remove abnormal tissue by LEEP or conization.
How is cervical cancer treated?
The choice of treatment depends on the location and size of the tumor, the stage (extent) of the disease, the woman’s age, general health and other factors. Most often, the treatment involves surgery and radiation therapy. Sometimes, chemotherapy or biological therapy is used. The doctor may decide to use one treatment or a combination of treatments. Surgery may involve removing the tissue in or near the cervix, the cervix or the entire uterus (hysterectomy). Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. It is most often used when cervical cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The doctor may use one drug or a combination of drugs. Biological therapy is treatment using substances to improve the way the body’s immune system fights disease, and it may be used to treat cancer that has spread from the cervix to other parts of the body.