Smoking Raises The Risk Of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women around the world. Not a lot of people realise that cigarettes raise the risk of this disease.

Infection with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the strongest risk factor for the development of cervical cancer, however most women with the infection don’t go on to develop the disease. Clearly there are other factors at play. A healthy immune system is able to clear this infection, however if the immune system is weak, the virus can persist and lead to chronic inflammation of the cervix. That raises the risk of cancer developing one day.

Women who smoke are more likely to develop cervical cancer and more likely for the disease to become aggressive and spread. In 2013, 11,955 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer. Having regular pap smears can help detect the disease at an early stage, before it becomes potentially life threatening.

Women with nutrient deficiencies are more likely to develop cervical cancer. Vitamin C and folate help to reduce the risk of the disease, and both are depleted by smoking cigarettes. Selenium and vitamin D are also very protective because they help the body to fight viral infections and ensure cervical cells replicate in a healthy, orderly manner. It is not always possible to get enough of these nutrients through your diet if you don’t always have the time to prepare home made meals or compromised digestive function means you don’t absorb nutrients from foods as well.

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