Early detection can save your life

The day is all about empowering people to lift the veil on gynaecological issues by celebrating the beauty that is a woman’s femininity.
This day is the brainchild of Kath Mazzella, a vulval cancer survivor.
Kath’s vision is to see the day celebrated around the globe, bringing “below the belt” issues out into an open forum where women and men everywhere may be healed, supported and uplifted.
By going for regular pap smears women can prevent or detect cervical cancer early.
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus and it is one of the most common cancers among South African women. It is curable if detected and treated in the early stages.
Regular pap smears can detect abnormal cells in the cervix that could develop into cervical cancer. Although this test is uncomfortable, it is relatively painless.
Women can lower their risk of getting cancer by being aware of the importance of early detection. This enables more effective treatment and a better chance of recovery.

Symptoms of cervical cancer include:
* Pelvic pain that is unrelated to other conditions such as menstruating or physical exertion.
* Pain during intercourse.
* Bleeding, heavy periods or heavy spotting between periods or additional periods during a monthly cycle.
* Abnormal discharge.
Cansa encourages women to prevent female cancers by avoiding hormone therapy, using condoms to prevent STD’s such as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is a high risk factor for cervical cancer.
Women can also consult their doctors on the HPV vaccine.
HPV vaccines are up to 90 per cent effective against the two most common cancer-causing HPV strains (16 and 18) in women who have not yet contracted the virus.

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