Cervical cancer is cancer that affects the cervix. The cervix is found at the opening of the uterus of the woman.
An image showing the cervix
Cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells in any part of the body. In this case, the abnormal growth of cells in the cervix is what is termed, cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer affects only women because the cervix can only be found in the woman. But the virus that causes cervical cancer which is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can affect both men and women through sexual contact.
Being a woman automatically puts you at risk of cervical cancer. Even though you may never be affected.
But the moment you engage in sexual activity regardless of your age, you greatly increase your risk of cervical cancer especially if you do not use condoms for protection.
It is a known fact that women who use contraceptives (not condoms) are at a greater risk of getting cervical cancer. This is because, most women in Ghana use contraceptives for protection against pregnancy not infections. Due to thus reason, other contraceptives aside condoms are mostly patronized by the women.
Now the problem is, because the women are protected from pregnancy, they practice unprotected sex. Which exposes them to the virus (HPV) amongst other sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhoea and HIV.
According to the 2017 fact sheet (ICO/IARC Information Centre on HPV and Cancer), Hormonal contraceptives ( pills, injections, etc) use caused 22.9% of cervical cancer in Ghana.
This does not mean that hormonal contraceptives are bad or that they cause cancer, but that they do not prevent infections and so if a woman is in a relationship which doesn’t promise monogamy, the practice of using condoms should be paramount to prevent the virus.
If you cannot abstain, then be faithful to one sexual partner. Always use a condom to protect yourself and your partner against STDS.
Condom is the only contraceptive that prevents infections !
The Ghanaian society is yet to empower women to be able to negotiate for their own protection during sex. In our community, the woman is powerless to defend herself and her health in relationships so if the man does not initiate condom use, the woman is unable to demand for it.
But the woman in our time must speak for herself. You need to demand for protection if it is not marriage. abstinence is still best.
And even in marriage if there is infidelity, you must protect yourself until both of you have undergone tests to show you are free from infections.
Don’t compromise on the quality of your health. Life is too short.
#Cervical cancer can be prevented.