Cervical cancer, a malignant neoplasm, occurs when cervix’s cells grow in an abnormal pattern. It starts in the cervix i.e. the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. The cancer form is treatable if diagnosed early. It can be identified in the early phase through a Pap test.
Facts on Cervical Cancer
- Cervical cancer affects deeper tissues of the cervix and spreads to the entire body, specifically to the lungs, liver, bladder, vagina and rectum.
- Majority of cervical cancers are caused by a virus known as human papilloma virus (HPV).This virus usually gets transmitted with sexual contact.
- There are several kinds of human papilloma virus (HPV) not all of which are cancerous. HPV is also responsible for genital warts.
- HPV is not evident as it has no symptoms. The virus stays in the body and can lead to cervical cancer after years.
- Upon suspicion of cervical cancer, a health care provider recommends Pap test to figure out the changes in cervical cells before it converts into cancer. Successful treatment of these cells implies that you’ve prevented cervical cancer.
- Unexpected bleeding from vagina, unexplainable change in your menstrual cycle, bleeding during sexual intercourse, painful sexual intercourse and vaginal discharge (tinged with blood) are some of the signs of cervical cancer.
- Pelvic examination, which includes a Pap test, helps to identify cervical cancer. A small cell sample from the surface of the cervix is taken to study cell changes. If Pap test confirms abnormal change, health care providers seek precancerous or cancer cells on the cervix with other medical examinations such as tissue biopsy.
- Pap test is the most effective way to identify cervical cell changes that lead to cancer. Regular pelvic examination shows behaviour of these cells before they turn into cancer.
- Cervical cancer treatment removes cancer and makes one capable of conceiving. Its treatment procedures include hysterectomy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and removal of pelvic lymph nodes (with or without removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes).
- Treatment of cervical cancer depends on cancer development. There may be one or combination of treatments to treat cervical cancer.
- Immunisation shots of HPV such as Cervarix and Gardasil protect one from the risk of cervical cancer. Consult a health care provider to avail the vaccination.
- Cervical cancer is most likely to spread through sexual contact. Therefore, it is advisable to practice safe sex to avert the risk of cervical cancer.
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