The National Nutrition Council-Caraga joins in the promotion of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 368 undertaking the campaign to curb cervical cancer incidence through increased consciousness and medical assistance through screening, with intensifying the significance of early detection to fight against cervical cancer.
Cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that begins in the cervix. It is a disease that can be prevented through HPV vaccination and regular screening. Any woman can get cervical cancer, but some women are at higher risk because of factors such as: Having the Human Papillomavirus Virus, early age at first birth (younger than 20 years old) and women with 3 or more full-term pregnancies are at increased risk, early sexual intercourse, history of multiple sexual partners (or a partner with multiple partners), history of the sexually transmitted disease, a sexual relationship with a person who has exposure to HPV, not screened with Pap (Papanicolaou) test in more than 5 years and never been screened at all, who smoke since it weakens the immune system, making it harder to fight off HPV infections, and women over the age of 30.
Considering nutrition, epidemiologic studies recommend that dietary factors may influence the risk for cervical cancer. The effect of diet may be attributable to the suppressive action of certain micronutrients such as carotenoids (both vitamin A and non-vitamin A precursors), folate, and vitamins C and E, on HPV infection.
A low intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a 3-fold increase in the risk of cervical cancer. Low nutrient levels associated with fruit and vegetable intake (e.g., vitamin A and lycopene) tended to be associated with the risk of the disease. These nutrients may enhance the clearance of high-risk HPV infections but are not associated with the clearance of persistent infections. According to European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, fruit intake was inversely associated with the risk for invasive squamous cervical cancer (ISC), with a 17% lower risk of ISC for consumption of an additional 3.5 oz per day. In addition, studies have shown a significantly greater risk for HPV persistence in women who consume alcohol regularly, compared with those who consume less or with non-consumers.
The value of healthy diets and healthy regimens should be adopted and followed with proper consultation with healthcare professionals. The process of diet and lifestyle change takes time, and patients always need continuing support.
The best ways to lower your chances of Cervical Cancer are to get vaccinated for HPV, to be regularly screened, and to have a healthful diet and lifestyle modification. #JJCarrillo
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Castellsagué X, Bosch FX, Muñoz N, et al. Male circumcision, penile human papillomavirus infection, and cervical cancer in female partners. N Engl J Med. 2002;346(15):1105-12. [PMID:11948269]
Fonseca-Moutinho JA. Smoking and cervical cancer. ISRN Obstet Gynecol. 2011;2011:847684. [PMID:21785734]