There is a lot of factual information out there about cervical cancer and yet the myths still persist. These myths can be a powerful deterrent to women taking care of their health in the most effective way. If you’re wondering what you should believe about this condition, then look no further. These are 7 common myths that you need to stop believing right now. The truth can save your life.
1. Nobody In My Family Had It So I Won’t Get It
While some forms of cancer such as breast cancer are more likely to occur if there’s a family history, cervical cancer doesn’t fall under that category.
This type of cancer is caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and anyone who has been sexually active can be exposed. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 80% of people who have been sexually active have been infected with the virus.
2. I Don’t Need Pap Smears If I’ve Had The HPV Vaccine
There are over 100 strains of the human papillomavirus and the vaccine is only effective against some of them.
That means that while the vaccine can stop the progression of the virus to cervical cancer, there are other strains that it might not work against. It’s best to keep getting your pap smear tests done so you can be sure that you have no abnormal cells.
3. HPV Clears Up On Its Own
The virus does clear up on its own in a few cases but that doesn’t go for everyone. In many others, it goes on to cause cervical cancer as well as genital warts.
Since exposure to the virus is so common, it’s a good idea to get tested for it regularly so you can be treated and take proper precautions in the future.
4. Everybody Needs An Annual Pap Smear
The schedule for pap smears is not set in stone. It’s recommended that anyone who is sexually active get a test but if your results are normal, you typically need to do one every three years up to the age of 29. From the age of 30 until 64, every