The incidences of cancer are becoming common with each passing day. Day in and day out we hear tragic stories about cancer or deaths due to cancer. Sometimes it is death of a dear one due to lung cancer, sometimes you hear news of your friend battling from cancer of breasts or sometimes the latest epidemiological figures upset you to hell. Who is to blame? The lifestyle? The habits? or Ignorance? Well, no one has the answer to this question. All we can do is to increase the awareness for this dreadful disease and take preventive measures. This article focuses on one of the most common type of cancer in women, “cervical cancer“.
Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer across the world and also the 4th most common cancer that causes deaths in women. It is the 2nd most common cancer specifically in women coming only after breast cancer. Records have that, cervical cancer accounts for about eight percent of total cancer cases and deaths in women worldwide. Around eighty percent of cervical cancer occurs in the developing nations.
Cervical Cancer : What Is It?
Cervical cancer is the cancer of cervix and cervix is the lowest part of uterus opening in the vagina. In cancer, the cells start multiplying at an enormous pace. When the cells in the cervix multiply abnormally, cervical cancer occurs. This cancer may invade the cervix and spread to other parts of the body, leading to death, ultimately.
Cervical cancer can be treated if diagnosed in the early stages, but, can be fatal if diagnosed in the later stages and left untreated.
Causes Of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is caused by a virus known as HPV, i.e., human papillomavirus. There are many kinds of HPV virus, but every HPV does not cause cervical cancer. The HPV gets entry into the cervix by sexual contact who carries this virus.
Risk Factors Of Cervical Cancer
a. Exposure to HPV may develop cancer. Generally all HPV are not responsible for cervical cancer, but high risk HPV can lead to cervical cancer.
b. Smoking makes women susceptible to cervical cancer.
Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer
The symptoms of cervical cancer are :
a. Abnormal bleeding from vagina. The abnormal bleeding may occur after having sex, after menopause or in between the menstrual cycles.
b. Abnormal discharge from the vagina.
c. Pain during intercourse.
d. Pain in the lower abdominal region and pelvic.
e. Periods that stays for long and heavy bleeding.
Diagnosis Of Cervical Cancer
Diagnosis can be done by :
a. Pap smear during early stage
c. Cervical examination using colposcope
Treatment Of Cervical Cancer
a. Radiation Therapy
d. Combination of the above mentioned methods of treatment
Prevention From Cervical Cancer
a. A woman should undergo regular cervical cancer screening test, so that the cancer can be detected in the early stages.
b. HPV vaccine (between 9 years to 26 years, i.e., before getting sexually active) cuts down the chances of cervical cancer by leaps and bounds.