19 Mar Gift Her an Armour!
A daughter is a blessing.
As progressive parents, we take care of everything while she is growing up, from education to financial security to giving her freedom to carve out her own path, as she grows up into a woman.
Are we really doing everything ?
What about preventive health care for women?
Women’s health is an issue which should be given great importance. Globally, the second most common cancer in women is Cervical cancer. The main cause for it is the Human Papilloma Virus(HPV) which spreads due to intimate physical contact.
According to a study conducted in 2020, in India:
- No of cases of cervical cancer reported – 1,22,844
- India contributes to 1/3rd of the global cases mortality wise.
3 Facts about HPV
- HPV is a very common virus
- Out of more than 100 strains, only around 14 are high risk-cancer causing ones.
- Low risk strains can lead to genital warts.
A healthy body fights the virus by itself in two years!
Our sedentary lifestyle and food habits have weakened our immunity to an extent. This can be a cause of concern as the virus stays undetected for many years. When the immune system is compromised, the virus can turn normal cells to abnormal cells, which can lead to cervical cancer over a period of time.
Is there a solution?
Prevention is better than cure
Thanks to medical science, we now have vaccines which can be administered at an young age for protecting women from cervical cancer, which can occur in later stages of life. There has been a gradual decrease in cases reported from past few years in countries which have opted for vaccination, due to awareness and screening campaigns.
Earlier the better
Between 15 and 26 years of age, girls and women will need minimum 3 doses as preventive health care. Once over 26 years, the vaccines are not very effective and research is still on to find alternatives.
If taken early at the age of 11-14(most recommended age), only two doses are required to effectively protect them for life.
5 things to know about HPV vaccine
- The vaccines are clinically proven to be 100% safe
- Vaccination protects from few of the high risk, cancer causing strains of HPV and prevents 70% of cervical cancers.
- It also protects from other low risk strains which cause 90% of genital warts.
- Vaccinated women are still recommended screening, every 3 years after the age of 20.
- In some countries, young boys have been vaccinated too, so that the virus isn’t passed on later, and also to protect from similar cancers that occur in men.
A healthy lifestyle
Being physically fit with daily exercise, and a fruit and vegetable rich diet is a great way to build immunity.
Early detection of HPV through regular screening and pap tests for women above 20 years can help in early treatment and reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer.
As the awareness towards this is increasing, more parents are choosing to vaccinate their daughters for a healthy life ahead.
Shield your girl child at an early age!