It’s Cervical Health Awareness Month, and we are celebrating the work of healthcare professionals worldwide. Over the last three decades, incredible advancements in cervical cancer prevention have been saving women’s lives, and as a result, the number of cervical cancer deaths has decreased by more than half, according to the American Cancer Society. For the 282,780 cervical cancer survivors living in the United States, there is a myriad of opportunities for health augmentation and holistic recovery, including pelvic floor rehabilitation. For those not yet diagnosed, screenings and proactive measures can aid in prevention.
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation: The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) reports that cancer treatments might weaken, damage, or alter the nerves and muscles that control urination in the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Patients, who experience cancer where the bladder is located, are often subjected to mild to severe incontinence after treatment. Through a series of tailored therapeutic exercises, manual techniques, and other treatment processes, physical therapists can help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. Patients have experienced the following improvements:
- Bladder control and continence management
- Reduction in voiding dysfunction
- Decrease in pelvic pain
Prevention: There are several proactive measures you can take to help reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most important step you can take towards preventing cervical cancer is to begin receiving Pap tests at the age of 21. This test will help your doctors identify any abnormal cells that could become cancerous.
- If you’re a smoker, quitting can minimize your risk factors for developing many types of cancer. Poisons present in cigarette smoke can harm DNA cells and alter them, leading to abnormal growth. Smoking also damages the body’s immune system, making it harder to kill off cancer cells if they begin forming.
The physical therapy team at SCPT is highly experienced and adept in women’s health issues, and is dedicated to helping patients achieve their recovery goals. SCPT’s wide network of skilled massage therapists, support groups, and advocates are accessible to patients to encourage the recovery process further.