Did you know hygiene plays a crucial role in cervical cancer? Your partner’s hygiene can strengthen or weaken your immune system and overall health. Unfortunately, while men and women approach hygiene differently, men are known to have lower grooming and hygiene standards than women.
As a result, cancer of the cervix is the fourth most frequent cancer in women worldwide, and it is a significant cause of cancer-related death in developing nations. The treatment chosen is determined by several criteria, including cancer’s stage, age, and overall health.
So let’s explore the role of men’s hygiene in this condition and how you can prevent cervical cancer and, in the process, prevent HPV infection too.
The truth About Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the cervix and spreads throughout the body. The cervix connects a woman’s uterus to her vaginal canal. The majority of cases start in cells on the cervix’s surface. It was once a top cause of death among women.
However, since cervical cancer screening tests are now readily available, this is gradually changing.
What Is The Primary Cause of Cervical Cancer?
The causes of cervical cancer are sexual. The human papillomavirus (HPV) virus spreads from one person to another during sexual intercourse. This virus will infect at least half of sexually active adults at some point in their lives, but only a tiny percentage of women will develop this cancer.
Being diagnosed with this cancer is one thing; knowing your cancer stage is another. The stage is important as it indicates whether or not cancer has spread and, if so, how far it has gone. Knowing your cancer stage helps your doctor determine the best therapy option for you.
Clinical Cervical Cancer Screening tests
Doctors use a Pap smear test to diagnose this condition. Your doctor will collect a sample of cells from your cervix to perform this test. The doctor then sends these precancerous cells to a lab for Pap smear screening to detect cancerous alterations.
Even though the body’s immune system does everything to reduce the virus’s impact, it can survive for years and turn malignant.
The statistics are disturbing worldwide, with this cancer being the fourth most frequent cancer in women worldwide. It had about 604 000 new cases and 342 000 deaths in 2020. Also, in 2020, low- and middle-income nations accounted for over 90% of new cases and deaths worldwide.
Causes, Signs, And Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
When it comes to cancer type, most women are ignorant until it has progressed to the point where symptoms appear. Among the causes of cervical cancer, the primary one is a sexually transmitted disease known as human papillomavirus (HPV). While there are various strains of HPV, only one is responsible for causing this cancer.
The Role Male Circumcision Plays
For a long time, it was unknown whether male circumcision played any role in the incidence of penile human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in males and cervical cancer in their female partners. Fortunately, recent research involving 1,913 couples from five countries revealed a direct link between male circumcision and reduced chances of cervical cancer in their female spouses. In this study, scientists tested 1520 males with a polymerase-chain-reaction assay to see if they had HPV DNA.
The findings validated a strong connection between circumcision and cervical cancer in 74.9 percent of the test individuals, or 1139 men. As a result, male circumcision is linked to a lower incidence of penile HPV infection and, in the case of males who have had several sexual partners in the past, a lower risk of cervical cancer in their present female partners.
Other Causes And Factors
Aside from HPV, other factors such as a person’s lifestyle and environment can lead to advanced cervical cancer. Thus, the pap test and HPV test, being preventative measures, aren’t intended to identify the disease but to differentiate any abnormal cells from healthy cells that may signify the onset of cancer so that treatment can begin to kill cancer cells sooner.
Early Stage Cervical Cancer cells
Normally, the early stages of this cancer come with no symptoms. However, after progressing, cancer spreads, and it comes with several signs and symptoms, which can appear to be urinary tract infection (UTI).
The prevalent symptoms of this advanced cancer include abnormal bleeding, vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, odor, pain during sexual intercourse, painful urination, and vaginal bleeding.
Those Most Predisposed to Cervical Cancer
Yes, increased risk factors have a role in the development of cancer, most of them might not cause cancer. In addition, some people at higher risk never develop cancer, whereas others who have none do.
Also, the risk of this cancer worsens with factors relating to your sexual history. Thus, knowing your risk factors and talking to your doctor about them can help you make better lifestyle and healthcare decisions.
Cervical Screening Cervical Cells
Generally speaking, cancer of the cervix is more prevalent among women who are less likely to have access to cervical cancer screening.
In addition, it’s more likely to develop in people that have a weakened immune system.
Thus, this cancer occurs in women with genital warts and herpes. Also, those women who smoke have a nearly two-fold increased probability of developing this cancer than non-smokers.
Oral contraceptives have been linked to a higher possibility of cervical cancer. According to several studies, women with chlamydia infection in their blood or cervical mucus were susceptible to cervical cancer.
Furthermore, the Chlamydia bacteria may aid HPV growth and survival in the cervix.
Seven Personal Hygiene Tips
Some personal hygiene tips to prevent cervical cancer include:
Keep it clean and dry down there
Brushing and flossing
Drink lots of water
Washing your face
Shower regularly and after each workout
Wash your hands
Can Males Help Reduce The Risk of Cervical Cancer?
You can treat cervical cancer when you detect it early. And this improves high quality of life. To reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, men must play an important role.
For example, in the middle- and low-income nations, the World Health Organization has advocated including males in cervical cancer prevention.
Primary Mode of HPV infection
Cervical cancer is primarily transmitted through sexual contact or the afflicted person’s skin and mucous membrane. So, having unprotected sex or sex with many sexual partners, you are most definitely in danger.
Men’s involvement in cervical cancer prevention is critical, and men’s health behavior and attitudes are influenced by their awareness and level of medical education about the disease. Men’s direct preventive roles include:
Avoiding cancer-causing chemicals.
Limiting the number of sexual partners.
Using condoms during sex.
The Part Men Play
A growing cause of cervical cancer is a lack of knowledge on the part of men.
So can males help reduce the risk of cervical cancer? The answer is yes! Aside from practising good personal and sexual hygiene, here are some ways they can also help:
Practice safe sex by wearing a condom
Encourage their partners to go for improved screening
Maintain healthy eating habits and quit smoking
Hygiene practices include not just personal hygiene but also sexual hygiene. When it comes to hygiene, you must keep your groin area clean.
To conclude, cervical cancer is one of the growing health concerns for women. And while it’s commonly associated with the sexually transmitted disease HPV, an often-overlooked but highly contributing factor is personal hygiene. Pap tests and radiation therapy are some ways to diagnose and treat this condition.