HealWithFood.org's

Guide to Preventing Cervical Cancer

How to Prevent Cervical Cancer Caused by HPV


Are you looking for ways to reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV)? Here you will find a wealth of information and helpful tips for women in interested in the prevention of cervical cancer.

As its name suggests, cervical cancer affects the cells of the cervix which is the lowest part of a women's uterus. Throughout the course of a woman's life, cervical cells go through several types of changes, most of which are harmless and will not cause cancer. Human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which are primarily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity, are one of the causes of these changes. While the fast majority of human papillomaviruses (about 85 of the over 100 HPV types that are currently known) don't cause serious complications, about 15 types can cause cervical cancer. While not all HPV types cause cancer, HPV infection is the most important risk factor for developing cervical cancer. Therefore, protecting yourself from HPV infection can be an effective way of preventing cervical cancer.

According to a 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, consistent condom use could prevent HPV transmission in up to 70 percent of cases. Condoms do not provide 100% protection against HPV because the virus is spread through sexual skin-to-skin contact; no penetration is needed to contract the virus. This means that areas of genitalia that are not protected with a condom may contain viral particles that may come in contact with the genitalia of the partner.

Today, also HPV vaccines are available for males and females to prevent them from contracting HPV. These vaccines may provide less or noprotection if the person has already contracted HPV, and therefore, it is recommended that boys and girls get the vaccine before they become sexually active. Furthermore, anyone considering getting the vaccine should be aware that the HPV vaccines currently available provide protection only against some – not all – HPV types linked to cervical cancer.

Since HPV infection is common in sexually active women and since vaccines do not protect against all types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, all women are recommended to get regularly tested for abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. The Pap test, also called a Pap smear, is a quick and simple medical test used by doctors to check for such as changes.

In addition to regular Pap tests, certain dietary habits may help prevent cervical cancer. The purpose of this online guide is to inspire women to eat healthier and to educate them on the potential cervical cancer preventing properties of specific foods. So, whether you are looking for diet tips on how to prevent cervical cancer, or whether you are on a quest for healthy recipes featuring anti-cancer foods, be sure to check out the following resources for inspiration: