Cervical cancer occurs when normal body cells in the cervix transform themselves and develop into a tumor. It can be prevented but one must first know the risk factors that can lead to cervical cancer.
By: Elysiana Canlas
Cervical cancer is a disease in which body cells in the cervix or the uterus’ lower part are malfunctioning. The cervix is the canal that leads to the vagina.
To understand cervical cancer, it is important to note where in the body the cervix is located. It is the birth canal that leads to the vagina. Cervical cancer occurs when normal body cells in the cervix transform themselves and develop into a tumor. Though it is obviously scary to have cervical cancer, the good news is it can be prevented.
One must first know the risk factors that can lead to cervical cancer:
1. HPVs or Human Papillomaviruses
HPV is a collection of viruses that put the cervix in danger. Infections like this are common and can be passed through sexual intercourse.
Those who are over 40 are more prone to getting cervical cancer.
3. Not having Pap tests
Physicians perform Pap tests in order to detect pre-cancerous cells in patients. Therefore, those who regularly have the test, experience a greater chance of preventing cervical cancer.
4. Weak immune system
Women who have HPV infection but are not smokers are less likely to develop cervical cancer.
Women with a greater number of sex partners have an increased chance of developing cervical cancer.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer:
1. Irregular vaginal bleeding that occurs after menopause or in between periods.
2. Pelvic pain
3. Excess vaginal discharge
4. Pain during sex
It is imperative that a woman experiencing any of the above symptoms immediately seeks medical attention and obtains a full diagnosis.
The doctor may use the following procedures for a proper diagnosis:
1. Colposcopy is when a doctor uses a colposcope to study the cervical tissues.
2. In a biopsy a doctor removes tissues and check for cancer cells.
There are four types of biopsy: punch biopsy, LEEP, endocervical curettage and conization.
Like any other cancer, cervical cancer goes through stages. Stage 0 is when cancer is located only on the top layer of cells, whereas at stage 1, the cancer is found in the cervix. Nearby tissues are affected when it is at stage 2, while the cancer extends to the vagina’s lower part at stage 3. Lastly, at stage 4, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body such as bladder or rectum.
If cervical cancer is detected, a woman would be well advised to seek a second opinion without delay. A confirmation of the diagnosis will lead to any, or a combination of the following treatments:
Ttreats the cervix and body parts adjacent to it.
2. Radiation Therapy
High-energy rays target the area and destroy cervical cancer cells. There are two kinds of radiation: external and internal.
Potent anticancer drugs are injected to try to combat cancer cells.
A woman suffering from cervical cancer must not lose hope. If she is in the right treatment program and is receiving moral support from her loved ones, the chance of her survival will be great.
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