Cervical Cancer: 6 Things Black Women Need To Know

beautiful woman thoughtfulBefore the PAP smear was invented, cervical cancer was the most common gynecologic cancer in the world. We have made some improvement; now cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women worldwide.

There are 490,000 estimated new cases that occur each year worldwide. But unfortunately, 290,000 women will die from this disease. In the United States, cervical cancer is the 7th most common cancer among women. There are about 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer each year AND about 4,000 women will die each year. These stats make me sad #GYNEGirls. The worst part is that the average age of diagnosis is only 42 years old. That is too young to worry about dying.

Here are some early symptoms of cervical cancer:
Abnormal Discharge – Healthy discharge is colorless and odorless. So, consult your doctor if you experience discharge that increases in volume, changes in consistency or color, takes on a bad smell, or causes itching, especially if other listed symptoms are present.

Leg Pain/Leg Swollen – The cervix can begin to swell as a result of cervical cancer, and that swelling pushes against outlying blood vessels. The blood flow can then be blocked, which eventually causes the leg to swell.

Change In How You Go To The Bathroom – Cervical cancer can cause a marked increase in urine frequency. The urine can change in appearance as well, often to include blood. A sign of something else? Possibly, but blood in the urine should always be checked immediately.

Read below to learn six things that you definitely need to know about cervical cancer. Keep reading!

1. You can get cervical cancer from an STD. Have you heard of the human papilloma virus (HPV)? HPV is the most common STD. #GYNEGirls- please have safe sex, i.e. use condoms always!

2. The HPV vaccine protects you against cervical cancer.There are two types of vaccines on the market- Gardasil and Cervirax. Gardasil is for both #GYNEGirls and #GENTs, while Cervirax is only for #GYNEGirls.