An Introduction To Cancer Of The Cervix
Cervical cancer is a dangerous chronic disease affecting women. It is caused by a group of viruses commonly known as HPV. This virus is transmitted via sexual intercourse. Even without treatment many women naturally fight off the disease using their immune system. However there are known risk factors that increase the chance of women getting cancer of the cervix. These risk factors include HIV infection. This particularly weakens the immune system of the woman leading to the development of the disease. Smoking tobacco cigarettes and having many children are also import risk factors of the disease. Tobacco is known to carry cancer causing substances called carcinogens. These are known to affect DNA in cells leading to the development of not only cervical cancer but other cancers as well such as lung, mouth and throat cancers.
In terms of prevalence, cervical cancer kills on average 4000 women per year. In the year 2007 over 12 000 women were diagnosed with cancer of the cervix in the United States. Overall over the last four to five decades the prevalence of the disease has sharply declined by as much as 70 percent. This is attributed to the scientific advancement in dealing with the disease as well as the introduction of the Pap test. This medical test can pick the existence of the disease early which helps with immediate effective treatment interventions. In fact the Pap test is so effective it detects cervical precancer before it turns onto cancer.
Doctors recommend that women as young as 21 years of age should begin regular cervical cancer screening using the Pap test. The screening should also occur within three years of any women starting to have sex. As mentioned this is because the virus HPV that causes the disease is transmitted via sexual intercourse. It can however be noted that in as much as this screening is effective, it does not in any way screen for ovarian, uterine, vaginal or vulvar cancers. As is part of any prevention and treatment therapy of many different diseases, eating healthy plays an important role in ensuring that your body fights off disease effectively. This includes eating lots of fruits and veggies. This will also be beneficial for other ailments such as high blood pressure and heart disease apart from cancer. Older women over the age of 65 are apparently more susceptible to suffering from cervical cancer. This particular group requires more frequent screening of cancer of the cervix using the Pap test.