Using a condom not only prevents you from getting pregnant, it can be the difference between living with cervical cancer or a sexually transmitted disease. Beyond the fact that the HPV vaccine already exists, you should be aware of your responsibility in caring for your female health.
Cervical dysplasia refers to the presence of abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix. Although these changes are not considered cancer, they can cause cervical cancer if not treated promptly.
Cervical cells do not suddenly become cancerous. Gradually they develop abnormal changes that are called precancerous changes. Doctors use different terms to describe these precancerous changes, including cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL), and dysplasia, which we will discuss in this #Zenzsual #Blog article .
Pre-cancers are graded on a scale of 1 to 3 based on the amount of cervical (cervical) tissue that looks abnormal:
- Mild dysplasia (called CIN1 or low-grade SIL), there is not much tissue that looks abnormal, and it is considered the least serious cervical precancer.
- In moderate to severe dysplasia (called CIN2 or CIN3 or high-grade SIL) there is more tissue that looks abnormal. And that's why high-grade SIL is considered the most serious precancer.
Causes of Cervical Dysplasia
Cervical dysplasia can occur at any age and most of the time has no visible symptoms. It is commonly caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that is transmitted through sexual contact. Although there are many types of HPV, some of them lead to cervical cancer or cervical dysplasia. Other types of HPV can cause genital warts.
The following factors may increase the risk of cervical dysplasia:
- Having sexual intercourse before the age of 18
- Having a baby at a very young age
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Having other diseases, such as tuberculosis or HIV
- Using drugs that suppress the immune system
How to know if you have a precancerous lesion in your intimate area?
Initially, the gynecologist will perform a vaginal cytology to detect the presence of HPV, if there is cervical dysplasia or what is called a squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL). If positive, the gynecologist is the doctor responsible for initiating treatment that may include:
- Laser therapy, which uses light to burn away abnormal tissue
- Cryosurgery to freeze abnormal cells
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), which uses electricity to remove abnormal tissue
- Surgery to remove abnormal tissue (cone biopsy)
- Hysterectomy (rarely)
The monitoring and treatment of cervical dysplasia depends on the age of the woman. And they will always need repeat exams every 12 months or more or less often, as suggested by your doctor.
Prevention is your lifeline!
Ask your doctor if you can get the HPV vaccine. This vaccine prevents many types of cervical cancer. Girls who get it before they become sexually active reduce their chance of getting cervical cancer. Therefore, they recommend administering after the age of nine.
In addition to getting vaccinated against HPV, you should protect yourself by taking the following steps:
- Do not smoke, because smoking increases the risk of developing more severe dysplasia and cancer.
- Practice safe sex with a condom or condom.
- Practice monogamy: have one sexual partner at a time.
It is important to note that although cervical cancers arise from cells with precancerous changes, only some of the women with this condition will develop invasive cancers. In most cases, the precancerous cells will disappear with the help of medical treatment. That is why it is super important that women attend the medical consultation, to obtain the diagnosis in a timely manner (before it is too late) and receive the appropriate treatment.
As a responsible family, we must sensitize all the women around us since they are sexually active, about the risks of suffering from cervical cancer, since it is the responsibility of each one to have safe sexual relations and attend the consultation with the gynecologist every year (or with the frequency that you indicate), because only an early diagnosis will save us from the consequences.
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