Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that affects woman. The most common victims of cervical cancer are older woman (i.e. 40+). Cervical cancer is generally caused by HPV (human papilloma virus) which gets transmitted through sexual contact and over a period of time (which can last for years) leads to cancerous cervix cells.
Prevention against cervical cancer
Since HPV gets sexually transmitted, having multiple sex partners can increase the chances of occurrence of cervical cancer. The anti-bodies produced by our body are the best guard against HPV and anything that causes our immune system to weaken can also aid in development of cervical cancer. In that sense, taking good care of your health too is a preventive measure for cervical cancer.
Symptoms of cervical cancer
The most common symptoms of cervical cancer include pelvic pain or pain during intercourse, unexpected vaginal discharge or bleeding, increase in the frequency of urination etc. However, the occurrence of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily imply cervical cancer. These symptoms just suggest that cervical cancer could be a possibility and hence point to the need of undergoing other cervical cancer tests
Detecting cervical cancer
One of the best ways of detecting cervical cancer is to undergo routine/ regular cervical cancer screening tests. The cervical cancer screening test (i.e. the pap test or the pap smear test) is one of the best ways of catching cervical cancer in early stages. This test is not at all painful and just involves brushing off of cells from your cervix for microscopic examination. The pap test results are generally given as a rating on a scale of 1 to 5 where in 1 indicates normal cervix cells and 5 indicates serious cancer signs. Though medical research is constantly trying to create new and better ways of detecting cervical cancer, Pap tests are the best technique that we have available today for early detection of cervical cancer. However, pap tests are not always accurate and if other symptoms strongly suggest cervical cancer, a second round of cervical tests might be recommended by the doctor.
Treatment of cervical cancer
The treatment of cervical cancer is effective mostly when the cervical cancer is detected while it is still in its early stages. The treatment involves surgical procedures (including removal of uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries), chemotherapy and radiation. The earlier you are able to detect cervical cancer, the better are your chances of cure. In fact, pap tests can even detect pre-cancerous stage and hence make the treatment of cervical cancer even more effective.