Genital cancer is the cancer of the genitals or genitalia. It includes vaginal cancer, which is the cancer of vagina, cervix cancer, cervix being the lower part of the uterus that is connected to vagina, and penile cancer, which is the cancer of the penis. Just like any other cancer, the cause of genital cancer is unknown. However, there are certain preventative measures that you can take in order to keep your body safe and free from genital cancers.
1. HPV Vaccination
HPV Infection is an abbreviation for Human Papillomavirus. HPV Infection spreads from skin to skin contact of the infected region. While HPV Infection can be spread rapidly via sexual activity, it can also spread through non sexual contact. Apart from that, HPV can also spread from one part of the body to the next. HPV Infection is found to be one of the highest risk factors for genital cancers. There are vaccines available to prevent certain types of HPV Infection and it’d be best if you are trying to protect yourself from those.
2. Practice Safe Sex
Practising safe sex is a method to create a barrier during vaginal, anal and anal sex which in turns help a great deal to prevent HPV Infection. Other than that, ensure that you are following the guidelines to prevent yourself from getting STDs, i.e., Sexually Transmitted Diseases since it’d be go a long way in keeping your genitals safe from HPV Infection as well
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking is found to be yet another common cause for genital cancers. Apart from genital cancers, smoking is also found to be the leading cause in several other forms of cancers as well as other diseases. It’d be very beneficial for you and your body if you avoid smoking altogether.
Having said that, if you show any of the symptoms of genital cancer, it is advised that you visit a doctor as soon as possible. Following are the symptoms of the genital cancer that you must always look out for: 1. Backache
2. Asymptomatic pelvic pain
3. Cervical pain
4. Cervical discharge
5. Genital discharge
7. Genital bleeding
8. Cervical bleeding
9. Benign non cancerous growth like polyp
10. Genital warts on cervix
11. Cervicitis inflamed cervix
Although it is important to recognise the warning signs early on, it is recommended that you get yourself checked up often. Getting yourself screened is one way to go about that. A screening test is done to look out for a disease when you are not showing any symptoms. SCREENING OF CANCER OF CERVIX:
1. PAP smear
2. HPV testing
3. HPV vaccination
PRECAUTIONS BEFORE COLPOSCOPY:
1. Any genital medications, local applications should not be taken 2 days prior to procedure.
2. Abstinence for 2 days.
3. Do not use tampons.
4. NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, Acetaminofen should not be taken prior to the procedure.
5. Should not be done during menstrual bleeding.
6. Heavy exercising like swimming, golfing, vacuuming should be avoided before 24 hours of procedure.
7. Vaginal discharge after 4-6 weeks of procedure is normal.
8. Procedure can be performed after 6 weeks of pregnancy & child birth.
9. In pregnancy high risk/high abnormality, Colposcopy and biopsy can be done.
10. If PAP smear is normal but HPV DNA positive, Colposcopy should be done.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR COLPOSCOPY:
1. No specific contraindications.
2. Other than active or untreated cervical or vaginal infection.
3. If a patient is pregnant, certain steps of colposcopy procedure are excluded.
RISKS AFTER COLPOSCOPY:
1. Bleeding is very heavy or lasts longer than 2 weeks.
2. Fever or chills
3. Infection such as heavy yellow coloured or bad smelling discharge from vagina.
4. Pelvic pain.
If there is no evidence of cervical cancer, wait till 6 months before trying to conceive after colposcopy.