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Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer remains one of the most common causes of death for women globally. Women 35 to 44 years of age are most likely to get it. This condition begins in the cervix which connects the vagina to the upper part of the uterus. The uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The cervix is made of two parts and is covered with two different types of cells:

  • The endocervix is covered with glandular cells. It is the opening of the cervix that leads into the uterus.
  • The ectocervix is covered in squamous cells. During a speculum exam, it can be seen by the doctor because it is the outer part of the cervix.

The transformation zone is the place where these two cell types meet in the cervix. Its exact location changes if you give birth and as you get older. Most cervical cancers begin in the cells in the transformation zone

What Causes Cervical Cancer?

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) certainly play a role in causing Cervical Cancer. HPV has two certain proteins which turn off some tumor suppressor genes. It allows the cells lining the cervix to grow too much and to develop changes in additional genes which in some it may lead to cancer. Being infected with HPV does not mean you will develop Cervical Cancer. Your immune system removes the massive majority of HPV infections within two years.

Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer at an early stage produces no signs or symptoms. More-advanced cervical cancer signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain during intercourse or pelvic pain
  • Bloody or watery vaginal discharge that may be heavy and have a foul odor
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods, after intercourse, or after menopause

After it has spread, cancer may cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Bone pain
  • Kidney failure
  • Swollen legs
  • Trouble peeing
  • Pelvic pain

Risk Factors of Having Cervical Cancer

You may be at a high risk of having Cervical Cancer if you:

  • Have multiple sexual partners
  • Started having sex before age of 16 or within a year of starting your period
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Take birth control pills especially for longer than 5 years
  • Have a weakened immune system or STD

Safety Precautions

To lessen your risk of Cervical Cancer:

  • Inquire your doctor about the HPV vaccine

Getting a vaccination to avoid HPV infection may decrease your risk of cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers. You may ask your physician if an HPV vaccine is suitable for you.

  • A routine Pap tests

Pap tests may notice precancerous illnesses of the cervix. They can be checked or treated to avoid cervical cancer. Most medical organizations recommend beginning routine Pap tests at age 21 and repeating them each few years.

  • Practice safe sex

Lessen your risk of cervical cancer by taking action to avoid sexually transmitted infections. You can use a condom each time you have sex and regulating the number of sexual partners you have.

  • Do not smoke

If you do smoke, discuss with your doctor strategies to help you quit.

Treating Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer is very treatable if you catch it early. The treatments for this cancer are:

  • Targeted therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery

Sometimes these treatments are combined to make them more effective. However, there are other ways you can do to help your condition get better especially at home. Certain things can ease the mental and physical stresses of Cervical Cancer treatment.

  • Get mild physical activity to keep up your energy level. Make sure it does not wear you out.
  • Get enough rest at night. Take naps if you need.
  • Do not drink alcohol. You may not be able to drink alcohol while having medications.

Medications for Cervical Cancer