Cervical Cancer is the cancer of entrance of womb (lower part of uterus opening into the vagina) or Cervix. This is caused by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells on the cervix.
They are caused by a virus called HPV or Human PapillomaVirus which is sexually transmitted. Not all types of HPV cause cancer. Other causes include smoking and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
The symptoms may not be exposed in the initial stages. Some of the common symptoms are
- Abnormal bleeding from vagina or change in menstrual cycle
- Bleeding or Pain during sex
- Traces of blood present in Vaginal discharge
Advanced stages show symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss back pain etc.
A Pap test is used to detect cervical cancer. In this test, small sample of cells are scraped from the surface of the cervix and tested. If the test yields abnormal results, your doctor may suggest other tests such as biopsy
Depending on the stage, you can have one or a combination of the below mentioned treatments
- Radiation Therapy
The size of the tumor, to what extent the cancer has spread, whether you would like to become pregnant later are all determinant factors on which treatment procedure to choose.
- Regular Pap tests once in 3 years for all eligible women detect cell changes which lead to cancer. Any abnormal results in the Pap smear needs follow up with your doctor.
- HPV vaccination can protect you against two variants of the virus that cause cervical cancer.
- Practice Safe Sex. This can be attained by using condoms and limiting the number of sex partners.