Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the lower part of the uterus known as the cervix. The cervix is the opening between the uterus and the vagina, cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus – which is a sexually transmitted disease. Typically, two types of cervical cancers are prevalent – the more common one is squamous cell carcinoma, while the second adenocarcinoma is less prevalent.

The exact cause of cervical cancer is the changes to the mutation in the cells of the cervix. The change in mutation is trigged by certain strains of the HPV virus. Also, certain lifestyle factors such as smoking also increase the risk of the condition. In the early stages cervical cancer doesn’t exhibit any signs or symptoms although progressively some signs become apparent.

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Discharge from vagina
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful intercourse

Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer

  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Unsafe sexual intercourse
  • Past sexually transmitted infections
  • Weakened immunity

Diagnosis for cervical cancer is based on pap smear screening and a HPV DNA test. A biopsy helps determine the malignancy of the cells, while endocervical curettage procedure is performed to extract a sample of cervical cells. Treatment for cervical cancer includes surgical procedure that either removes just the tumour, the tumour + cervix, or the tumour + cervix + uterus. The type of procedure to be performed depends on the location and stage of the cancer.

Prevention of Cervical Cancer

  • HPV Vaccination
  • Regular Pap Smears
  • Safe Sex
  • Limited Sexual Partners
  • Quit Smoking