Article by 1Life

For parents of female children in particular, there comes a time when you will need to have the ‘talk’ about the changes in their bodies and what this means for their health. During these moments however, how many of us are educating our children about HPV, how you can contract it, and how it can cause cervical cancer?

There is no doubt that cervical cancer has been on the rise in the past couple of years amongst women in the country, and it is estimated that more than 3 0001 South African women die as a result of it each year. In fact, it is the second2 most prevalent cancer in women in South Africa, yet not spoken about as much.

The good news is that the Department of Health has taken a serious stance on this and is not only driving education around this from a young age, but is also encouraging young girls to take the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine – which is said to prevent the development of cervical cancer.

But what does this mean for you as a parent?

Well, much of your responsibility towards your children lies in teaching them important life skills that will carry them through their adult years. For parents of female children in particular, there comes a time when you will need to have the ‘talk’ and teach them about the changes in their bodies and what this means for their health. During these moments however, how many of us, are educating our children about HPV, how you can contract it, and how it can cause cervical cancer?

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If you haven’t started, now is an opportune time to begin to have these conversations, as long as your daughter is old enough to understand. This becomes increasingly important given that the Department of Health reports3 that most cases of cervical cancer are caused by certain strains of the Human Papillomavirus that can be transmitted through sexual or intimate contact. Because of this, the conversation becomes increasingly relevant as your daughters enter their teenage years.

The scary thing about HPV is that most women infected by the virus don’t usually show symptoms unless detected by a medical professional

The scary thing about HPV is that most women infected by the virus don’t usually show symptoms unless detected by a medical professional. However, for many other women, HPV can potentially turn into cancer cells in the long run.

National Department of Health HPV Vaccination Programme: A much-needed solution for the prevention of cervical cancer

The launch roll-out the National Department of Health HPV Vaccination Programme in all public schools around the country, brings a much needed solution for the prevention of cervical cancer. This countrywide programme includes giving girls as young as nine years old access to free HPV vaccinations and a chance to take charge of their health.

Educating your children about HPV is not the only preventive measure that you should take as a parent. It is also important that you make financial protection an important aspect of your plans. This can be done by investing in dread disease products that go beyond offering financial protection against just cervical cancer, but ones that will provide a pay-out amount for additional female and children cancers. This will assist with the medical costs and any other financial worries in times such as these and allow you to focus on what is important – your child’s recovery.

The reality is that any female can contract cervical cancer so it is important to consider the financial plan you have in place, to assist with rising medical bills and unexpected expenses. It is not only important to prevent the disease, but also to educate the young generation about the dangers of HPV and how to take care of themselves both physically and financially against such a disease.

References:

1. https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/frequently-asked-questions-about-human-papillomavirushpv-vaccination

2. https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/frequently-asked-questions-about-human-papillomavirushpv-vaccination

3. https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/frequently-asked-questions-about-human-papillomavirushpv-vaccination

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.