Dispelling common myths about cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a serious health concern that affects many women globally. Unfortunately, there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding cervical cancer that can contribute to misinformation and hinder preventive measures. It's crucial to dispel these myths to promote accurate understanding and encourage proactive healthcare. Here are some common myths about cervical cancer that need to be debunked:

Myth: Only Older Women Can Get Cervical Cancer

Fact: Cervical cancer can affect women of all ages. While the risk increases with age, particularly after the age of 30, young women can also develop cervical cancer. Regular screenings, such as Pap smears and HPV tests, are essential for early detection.

Myth: Cervical Cancer is Always Caused by HPV.

Fact: While persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is a significant risk factor for cervical cancer, not all cases are linked to HPV. Other factors, such as smoking, a weakened immune system, and certain genetic factors, can also contribute to the development of cervical cancer.

Myth: Cervical Cancer is a Death Sentence.

Fact: Cervical cancer is a highly treatable and often curable condition, especially when detected early. Advances in medical treatments, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, have significantly improved outcomes. It almost all stages of cervical cancer. Incidentally it is also preventable cancer, thanks due to HPV Vaccination(young girls before marriage). Regular screenings and vaccination against HPV contribute to prevention and early detection.

Myth: Only Women with Symptoms Need Screening.

Fact: Cervical cancer may not present noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Regular screenings, such as Pap smears and HPV tests, are crucial for detecting precancerous changes or early-stage cancer before symptoms appear. Early detection enhances the chances of successful treatment & cure.

Myth: Only Women with Multiple Sexual Partners Get Cervical Cancer.

Fact: While having multiple sexual partners can increase the risk of HPV exposure, it is not the only risk factor for cervical cancer. HPV is a widespread virus, and anyone who has ever been sexually active can be exposed. Other factors, such as smoking and a weakened immune system, also contribute to the risk.

Myth: Cervical Cancer Cannot Be Prevented.

Fact: Cervical cancer is largely preventable through vaccination against high-risk HPV types and regular screenings to detect and treat precancerous changes. HPV vaccines are effective in preventing infection with the most common high-risk types.

Myth: Cervical Cancer is Hereditary.

Fact: While certain genetic factors may contribute to an increased susceptibility to cervical cancer, the primary risk factor is persistent infection with high-risk HPV. Regular screenings are essential for individuals with a family history of cervical cancer.

In conclusion, dispelling myths about cervical cancer is crucial for promoting accurate information, encouraging preventive measures, and supporting early detection. Regular screenings, vaccination against HPV, and awareness of risk factors are essential components of cervical cancer prevention and control.

Dr. Sudarsan De
Department of Radiation Oncology
Book an Appointment