HPV or human papillomavirus is the cause of cervical cancer. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent cervical cancer. Among Indian women, cervical cancer ranks as the 2nd most frequent cancer. A group of more than 200 viruses is called HPV and among them, skin-to-skin contact is the cause of spreading of at least 40 types of HPV. Through sexual intercourse, HPV infection is passed in most of the cases. According to the best gynae oncologist in Kolkata, having unprotected sexual intercourse, multiple sexual partners or having sexual intercourse at a very early age are the most common causes of cervical cancer.

Personal hygiene and cervical cancer

The risk of cervical cancer can be reduced by keeping the vaginal area clean. Proper hygiene practices can definitely reduce the chances of getting infected with the virus, though it might not be able to prevent cancer completely. This means maintaining good sexual hygiene along with keeping the vaginal area clean. During intercourse, women should insist their partner to wear a condom. But, total protection from HPV cannot be obtained by the use of a condom. In the area (infected by HPV), if there are warts and lesions that are not covered by the condom and any part of the woman come in contact with them, it can still spread the infection and ultimately cancer treatment will be needed. Still, it is necessary to use a condom during sexual intercourse. After sexual intercourse, it is necessary to clean the area by wiping the vagina with a clean cloth or vaginal wipes from back to front to make sure that the virus doesn’t stay in the area. In fact, it has been seen in many of the cases that most of the cervical cancers detected in Pap smear was due to lack of hygiene. Therefore, cervical cancer can be kept at bay by maintaining proper hygiene.

This does not mean that if you maintain proper hygiene, you can skip the cervical cancer vaccination or avoid going for screening for HPV infection. In fact, one can detect the infection early by regular screening and get treated by a cancer specialist. The symptoms like abnormal bleeding, unusual heavy discharge, pelvic pain, pain during urination and unexpected bleeding should be watched out for by women as these are the possible signs of the cervical cancer diagnosis.