Till a couple of years back, the term Cervical Cancer was not a piece of individuals’ vocabulary. Tragically, the quantity of cervical disease cases has seen a drastic rise in the current past.
How about we investigate this condition and find the strategies for early recognition.
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer occurs from the abnormal growth of cells in the cervix, which have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina.
Worldwide, cervical cancer is both the fourth-most common cause of cancer and the fourth most common cause of death from cancer in women. According to a survey conducted in 2015, there are 3.5 million patients with this condition.
Cervical cancer is different from cancer that begins in other regions of the uterus. If detected early, it has a very high cure rate.
What causes Cervical Cancer?
Not all the causes of cervical cancer are known, however, we the major reason is listed below.
It is commonly known as HPV. Infection with some type of HPV is the greatest risk factor. There are many types of HPV. But not all of them cause cervical cancer. Mostly type 16 and 18 of HPV are the cause of 75% cervical cancer cases. This infection is easily transmitted. So women who have sex with men who have many other sexual partners or women who have many sexual partners have a greater risk.
The infection normally settles on it’s own but sometimes it can lead to cervical cancer. So it’s important for women to have regular Pap test (It is a test that can find the changes in a cervical cell before it changes into a cancer cell).
What are the symptoms?
In the early stage typically no symptoms are seen. Later symptoms may include
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Pain during sexual intercourse (While bleeding after sex may not be serious, it may also indicate the presence of cervical cancer.)
- Increased frequency of urination
- Painful Urination
If you notice any of the above signs, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
What are the risk factors?
Since not all who are infected with HPV tend to develop cancer, there are certain risk factors that have been identified that increase a women risk of developing cervical cancer.
- Excessive Tobacco Smoking
- More than 3 or more full-term pregnancies
- Pure immunity
- Long-term use of oral contraceptive (although the risk returns to normal when the contraceptive pills are discontinued)
- Having a full-term pregnancy before the age of 17
- HIV infection
- Sexual intercourse with infected person
- Family history of cervical cancer
How to prevent it?
By keeping a regular check, it is possible to minimize the risk of cervical cancer. Young girls are women can get themselves vaccinated by HPV vaccine. As read earlier not all HPV causes cervical cancer. Type 16 and 18 are the HPV vaccines are associated with cervical cancer.
Some other preventions are:
- Practice safe sex
- Avoid smoking tobacco
- Get regular pap test
What is the treatment?
The treatment for cervical cancer depends upon many factors, including the stage of cancer when it is diagnosed.
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
Cervical Cancer can be treated; all you need to do is keep a close attention on your body. Routine health checkups with Pap test are a must, especially for women aged 30 years or more.
Educate yourself and the women around you. It matters.