2 days ago, I got invited to Andi Manzano’s very special bridal shower. It was definitely a different kind of bridal shower because Andi held her own “X Bridal Shower Fair” to exemplify that prevention is worth a pound of cure and that all women deserve a fighting chance against cervical cancer.

The energetic and talented Andi is one of the ambassadors of the “X Means Love”, an advocacy campaign that aims to empower women through increasing awareness and driving urgency to fight cervical cancer. As she X-es out her single status, she also X-es out cervical cancer from her life. And as she becomes a bride and prepares to be a mother, Andi strongly encourages women to proactively take action on protecting themselves from cervical cancer through screening and vaccination.

The event’s campaign was all about the statement ‘X Means Love’. X Means Love aims to increase awareness in preventing cervical cancer, or cancer in the cervix, and is supported by GlaxoSmithKline and Healthway Medical. In this bridal shower, they clearly shared that cervical cancer can still be prevented and the best way to prevent cervical cancer is by getting HPV vaccines.

As a Registered Nurse, it is also my duty to share a few tidbits about Cervical Cancer to you.

What is Cervical Cancer and why worry about it?
• Cervical cancer is cancer in the cervix, the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb).
• In the Philippines, cervical cancer ranks as the 2nd most frequent cancer among women and it is estimated that every year 4544 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 1856 die from the disease.
• In its early stage, cervical cancer may have no signs or symptoms.
• The incidence of cervical cancer starts rising steeply at age 30 and is highest in women ages 40-55 years. These women who are diagnosed with cancer die early, at the time when their children are growing, at the time when their kids need the guidance and caring of their mothers. These women are at the peak of their careers and maybe just starting to enjoy life.

What causes Cervical Cancer and how do you get it?
• The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a necessary cause of cervical cancer.

Can Cervical Cancer be prevented?
• Cervical cancer can be prevented through screening and vaccination.

HPV vaccines have different characteristics, components and indications.
For more information about cervical cancer, consult your health care provider and your personal doctor, your partners in women’s health.