energetic and talented Andi is one of the ambassadors of the “X Means
Love”, an advocacy campaign that aims to empower women through
increasing awareness and driving urgency to fight cervical cancer. As
she X-es out her single status, she also X-es out cervical cancer from
her life. And as she becomes a bride and prepares to be a mother, Andi
strongly encourages women to proactively take action on protecting
themselves from cervical cancer through screening and vaccination.
Means Love’ aims to increase awareness in preventing cervical cancer,
or cancer in the cervix (the lower, narrow part of the uterus or the
womb), and is supported by GlaxoSmithKline and Healthway Medical.
decided to do this advocacy because early this year my mom was
diagnosed with cervical cancer. It took us all by surprise and it was
truthfully a very difficult time in our lives. She went through all the
motions from the chemo to radiation treatments and by the grace of God,
she’s been cured and is in remission,” Andi admits.
entire experience made me very passionate about cervical cancer. The
silver lining in all of this is that this type of cancer is one of the
easiest to treat if detected early. I want to be at the forefront of
educating women about its prevention, detection and to try to help find a
cure for cancer in all its forms,” the doting daughter says.
of the cervix is the second most common cancer among women worldwide,
with an estimated 529,409 new cases and 274,883 deaths in 2008. In the
Philippines, cervical cancer ranks as the second most frequent cancer
among women. It is estimated that every year, 4,544 Pinays are diagnosed
with cervical cancer and 1,856 die from the disease.
most difficult part was seeing my mom suffer. Cervical cancer affects
the body with much haste and instant pain. It was immeasurably difficult
to see her body weaken after only a few weeks. That was very tough,”
young women like Andi, 26, susceptible to cervical cancer, this
campaign takes on more urgency. A cancer like this can be cunning and
deceptive. In its early stage, cervical cancer may have no signs or
symptoms. So even as women go about their lives thinking that nothing’s
wrong, they should have themselves screened for cancer.
convincing people, especially my loved ones, to take better care of
their reproductive health, I’d give them information on the dangers of
cervical cancer and how taking preventive medicine like the HPV vaccine
can help prevent this disease,” Andy enthusiastically says.
cancer can be prevented through screening and vaccination. Screening
for HPV-induced changes in the cervix can be done by either using a
Papanicolaou (Pap) test or HPV DNA test, or both. In low-resource
settings, visual inspection with acetic acid is used to identify
cervical lesions, which can be immediately treated by cryotherapy.
vaccines are safe and effective. They are most efficacious in females
who are naive to vaccine-related HPV types. It does not eliminate the
need for screening later in life, since HPV types (other than 16 and 18)
cause up to 30 percent of all cases of cervical cancer.
contrast to the traditional bridal shower parties where fanfare and
tease are the main highlight for the bride-to-be, Andi will hold her own
“X Bridal Shower Fair” to exemplify that prevention is worth a pound of
cure and that all women deserve a fighting chance against cervical
cancer. In our country, it is estimated that the financial cost of
preventing cervical cancer through screening and vaccination could be
more than 20 times cheaper than the cost of treatment.
is fleeting. We really need to take care of our bodies and must not
wait for pains and aches to manifest before doing something. Prevention
is the best treatment and early detection can save lives,” Andi
implores. “We must be aggressive in trying to maintain our health and
eat the right food, take the proper vitamins and medicines and live a
healthy life with exercise. Also, do regular checkups!”
Kikaysikat would like to thank GlaxoSmithKline and Healthway Medical for the opportunity to be aware and be able to share this information to her readers. Let us spread the word to both women and men that Cervical Cancer is something that can be prevented.
|Someone fix my hair please. Haha.|
vaccines have different characteristics, components and indications.
For more information about cervical cancer, consult your health care
provider and your personal doctor, your partners in women’s health.