Technology is significantly changing the world around us. It is optimizing our lives and causing sociopolitical issues simultaneously. One of the most prevalent and pivotal ways technology can improve our lives is by using it to make our bodies and minds healthier. Perhaps the most important way new technologies can help is by curing and screening for diseases. Cervical health is being facilitated with technologies that are offering insight, preventative measures, and treatments for deadly diseases like cancer and HPV.
Cervical Cancer Screenings
One of the many ways that technology is improving health is through cancer screenings. This is especially relevant for cervical cancer. Medical professionals are finding new methods to provide accurate, efficient, and cost-effective identification for the women who at risk for cervical cancer.
Cancer in the cervix is the seventh most common cancer among women. Currently, cancer screening in the cervix uses HPV DNA testing that is combined with cytology. But this method requires visits that are both costly to the patient and the society at large.
New screening methods include diagnostics, which detects either the presence of HPV or the integration of the virus into the host cell, proliferation of the cancer, and detection of epigenetic changes in the person or the virus. According to a study from the US National Library of Medicine, these new screening techniques are showing great promise for detecting cervical cancer.
Prophylactic Vaccines to Prevent HPV
Cervical cancer is usually caused by contracting the human papillomavirus (HPV). With new technologies detecting HPV in the cervix, doctors can better predict cancer in women who are predisposed to it. Beyond screening for HPV and the subsequent cervical cancer that can result, new technologies are providing prophylactic vaccines for prevention. These vaccines are boosting the immune system by introducing antigens into a person with hopes that the individual will create antibodies.
Since HPV is the most commonly spread STD in the United States, vaccines and detection are incredibly important. HPV DNA tests are available for secondary prevention to detect life-threatening infections caused by carcinogenic HPV strains. When these technologies become more widely available, they will facilitate the detection of these diseases and help prevent them.
While preventing HPV and subsequent cervical cancer is the number one concern, testing for HPV is also becoming more widespread. New research from the National Institute of Health shows that HPV screening will soon be available at people’s doorsteps. While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been doing research on the HPV vaccine for 15 years, now there is more evidence that long-term effects of this vaccine will benefit everyone. Not only will cervical cancer go down considerably, the spread of HPV will be slowed—leading to less STDs and more reproductive health.
Screening and detection of both HPV and cervical cancer are extremely important, but another facet of technology that will help decrease the spread of disease is the spread of awareness. The internet and online health tools are informing people that cancer in the cervix overwhelmingly comes from infection with HPV.
For example, up to 93 percent of cervical cancers can be prevented by screening and getting vaccinated for HPV. Few people in the public know that this form of cancer is typically found when people contract the sexually transmitted infection. Informing men and women will lead to an increase in the number of HPV tests and cervical cancer prevention. Not only is technology providing new ways to test and treat these diseases, it will lead to more knowledge about these infections and the ways we can prevent and detect them.
Scientists and doctors are measuring the rates of cervical cancer closely. As these technologies become widespread, women will be able to get tested for HPV and cervical cancer. The diseases will be better prevented and reductions will follow. It will take a while for the data to catch up with the accessibility of tests. Still, surely the number of people with cervical cancer will decrease. Preventing and screening for diseases are just the beginning of how technology can change our lives and make ourselves healthier. The future will hold a lot of advancements, with medicine being at the forefront of this progression.
Ryan Beitler is a journalist, writer, and blogger who has written for a variety of publications including The Slovenia Times, Paste Magazine, Deadline News, AI Time Journal, New Noise Magazine, and more.