Last month I wrote a post about Breast Cancer Awareness. One of my blog friends wrote a comment on that post and narrated that she just came from a friend’s wake that died of cervical cancer.
That comment made me searched on the web for information regarding the disease.
According to wikipedia, Cervical Cancer is a malignant cancer of the cervix. The cervix is the area in between the uterus (the womb) and the vagina. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the main viral agent that triggers the alteration of genes that causes cervical cancer.
Genital HPV is the most common type of virus that is sexually transmitted. Most sexually active women will get the virus at some point in their lives but often times are not aware that they have it since most HPV do not present any symptoms and naturally go away on its own. But some types of HPV cause cervical cancer and other less common types of genital cancers in the anus, vulva and the vagina.
HPV 16 and HPV 18 are the types that account for the 71 percent that cause cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the Philippines. According to the World Health Organization, around 500,000 cases of cervical cancer in 2005 were reported and this disease usually afflicts young women.
The good news is that a vaccine against HPV 16 and HPV 18 has been developed. This is the first vaccine developed against cancer. Girls as young as eleven years old and women up to forty-five years old can avail of it. The vaccine is given in three doses administered intramuscularly given within the period of six months.
Having learned of this information, I had my first shot of the vaccine this month, administered to me by Tita Edna, a physician, and since she is also my godmother I was given a discount on the vaccine.
After the shot was given to me, I experienced the soreness on the arm where it was administered. I can’t move my arm freely for two days but other than that I did not experience other side effect.
So asked your Family Doctor about the vaccine and have yourself protected as well.