In Peru, cervical cancer is the second most frequent neoplasm among women. It usually occurs after 45 years of age. Fortunately, it is a neoplasm that can often be prevented. Dr. Marco Sánchez Salcedo, gynecologic oncologist of our clinic, explains 5 facts we should all know about this disease.
- The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent cervical cancer and other less common cancers such as vaginal and vulvar cancers. It is recommended that boys and girls be immunized between the ages of 9 and 12.
- To prevent and detect this disease in its precancerous stage, it is recommended that a Pap smear or cervical cytology, an HPV test, and a visual inspection with acetic acid or cerviscopy be performed once a year, to detect precancerous lesions and treat them accordingly.
- From the age of 21 onwards, it is advisable to have a preventive cervical cancer screening check-up. This can be done at any time of the month; however, the patient should not be menstruating for the Pap smear.
- The most common symptoms of this pathology are abnormal uterine bleeding, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pelvic pain unrelated to the period, irregular menstruation, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, discomfort, and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- Depending on the clinical stage at the time of diagnosis, treatment varies. It may be hysterectomy, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.
According to World Health Organization reports, 95% of cases of this cancer are caused by HPV. Therefore, the importance of promoting vaccination against this virus. Getting into the habit of going for routine check-ups at the gynecologist is essential for women of all ages, as well as following a balanced diet and regular physical exercise. Take care of your health and do not forget to attend your annual check-up.
Dr. Marco Sánchez Salcedo
Ginecólogo oncólogo de la Clínica Ricardo Palma