Let's spread Cervical Cancer awareness with GSK's Put On Your Power Pout campaign

7:15 PM

Last April, there was heavy bleeding and had a procedure done called Dilation and curettage (D&C) , a brief surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the uterine lining.
Obviously, I did survive the mild surgical operation but my anxiety level has skyrocketed tremendously before getting the biopsy result. The thought of having as intense as cervical cancer did cross my mind.
Yes, it is indeed every woman's nightmare.
But God saved me, never gave up on me and gave me the best news so far--the biopsy result was a negative. No abnormality whatsoever was found.
But I still bled a lot during my monthly menstrual period and will be my lifetime problem I suppose.
Unless I will get an early menopause.

Recently, I was invited to be part of a cervical awareness campaign and I actually thought this event was perfect for me.
The month of May is a celebration of life and Cervical awareness month that is why GlaxoSmithKline has launched "Put On Your Power Pout", an advocacy aims to empower a contemporary Filipina , one who is always on the go, who take charge of their lives, and those who fight cervical cancer.
Gsk has been on this mission since 2008.
Just thinking about what cancer can do to you is already devastating in the mind, what more to those women who really got the disease. Right?
Did you know that cervical cancer is the second leading cause of deaths amongst females in the whole world? But the good thing is that, with the kind of technology we have today, we can easily prevent from having that.

The event was all about how to raise awareness and how we can all prevent this disease. I'm excited to share with you what I learned from the talk.

So, why should cervical cancer prevention should matter to women like us?
First, Dr. Esther Rhadamanthine V. Ganzon, a gynecologic oncologist, cleared to us that only women can get that kind of cancer because we have uterus and the uterus will have the cervix, so it what dilates when we gave birth. I was actually imagining myself while typing the words.
It is located at the bottom of the uterus and looks like a glazed donut when it is without the cancer.
If you got cervical cancer, it will look like prunes or black ground beef.
Around the world, 500,000 cases are diagnosed each year for cervical cancer. Imagine a 10 full packed Philippine arenas with new cervical cases, that's how many new cases are diagnosed each year and I don't want to be included in that stats.
6,000 new cases here in the Philippines are seen, truly a devastating number.
How will you know if you have cervical cancer?
According to Dr. Ganzon, unfortunately, there are no signs and symptoms in it's early stages.
If you already on stage 3-4, you will have this foul smelling discharge. You can smell someone who has this disease 10 meters away from you. That's how smelly it is.
You will have pain in the cervical area and legs, weight loss and severe fatigue.

After you have become sexually active 10 to 15 years after (started at 20 years old) and get infected with HPV, you will get full-blown cervical cancer at the age of 30.
More younger patients are now seen with the disease. The youngest patient she had was only 24.
For the charity ward, the youngest was only 11! She was a commercial sex worker at the age of 5. This is truly a devastating news for all of us.
So, what causes Cervical Cancer?
A viral infection cause by HPV or the HumanPapillomaVirus.
There are two types :  The Oncogenic ( High-risk type ) and Non-Oncogenic ( Non-Cancerous).
When you get infected with the high-risk type, your chance in getting Cervical Cancer increases by 200 to 400 times because it is not eliminated by the body. It takes 10 to 15 years from the initial infection to become full-blown Cervical Cancer.

So, how do you transmit?
It's direct skin-to skin contact during sexual activity. Not only sexual penetration.
Did you know that even if you have 1 sexual partner, you can still get the virus?
8 out of 10 women who are sexually active can get the HPV.
So, what type of HPV should we be concerned about?
There are over 100 types of HPV and there are 13 different kinds of strain that causes the Cervical Cancer. The most common is the HPV 16 and HPV18.
Some patients have multiple types... all in one cervix.

Do healthy people get Cervical Cancer?

  • If you smoke a lot for example, it will increase the risk for developing Cervical Cancer. 
  • Early intercourse can increase the risk as well. Meaning you start having intercourse at the age of 11 or 12.
  • Having multiple sexual partners can increase of having the cancer.
  • Those who gave birth 6 times or more can increase as well.
  • Long-term oral contraceptive use...it sometimes facilitate the entry of the virus in the cervix. So if you're taking pills, go to your OBGYNE for monitoring also.
  • Co-infection with HIV
So, how do we prevent Cervical Cancer?
Screening is the top most. Next is vaccination. You can have vaccination as early as 9 years old. But not always the option.
For the screening, you can either have a Papsmear test or  HPV DNA test.
If you want the specific HPV test, it is not yet available here in the Philippines. 

They also use 5% Acetic Acid to test if you're positive. They will put a drop to the cervix and if it turns out white, they will request for a biopsy test. Abnormal cells will take up the acetic acid and will turn to color white.
So, why use the color purple for this advocacy?
Purple is the color of power and magic and mystery. They packaged their campaign this year with empowerment with that color. They have successfully launched their partnership with cosmetics manufacturer VMV Hypoallergenics. 
At VMV Hypoallergenics, they promised the safest, most proven effective care on the planet—and that extends to beauty. This unique combination of science, wellness and beauty means they also strongly stand for advocacies that help women, their health and happiness.
Purple lips against cervical cancer : Encouraging women to join the movement by wearing purple lipstick to show their support for the advocacy on cervical cancer prevention. 

I learned a lot from this advocacy and I became more aware of what will happen to my body if I did not take good care of it.
A mother of 3, now a Power Pout Girl :)

You too, can join the movement now and be a Power Pout Girl—take a photo of yourself wearing VMV Hypoallergenics’ Tutu or Chorus Line lipstick (or a photo of you holding your kiss mark from the lipstick) and post it on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtags #PowerPout and #PowerOverCervicalCancer!
 For further information on cervical cancer, please consult your doctor.

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