6 Must Know Facts about Cervical Cancer

6 Must Know Facts about Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a dangerous disease that causes abnormal changes and damage to the cervix. Cervical cancer is also known as a silent killer that affects million women worldwide. It’s estimated that about 13,000 women in the U.S were diagnosed with the disease last year. And, more than 30% of affected women will die as a result of this diagnosis. Researchers found the number of new cases with cervical cancer has been decreased over the past decades. However, it is still the second most common cancer which may lead to death in women worldwide. Women of all ages can be at risk of cervical cancer. Thus, every woman should know about the disease to improve the chances of preventing and beating it.

Here’s a list of 6 must know facts about cervical cancer.

  1. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the first cause of cervical cancer.

To find a cure for a disease, it’s important to know its causes exactly. So, what is the exact causes of cervical cancer? Experts believe that human papillomavirus (HPV) can be to blame for most cervical cancer. This is a common virus that can be spread from person to person through sexual activity. Anyone who has ever had sexual contact can be infected with HPV. The virus can be present for months and even years without causing any symptoms. Therefore, many infected people may pass on the disease to others without knowing it.

A recent study has shown that more than 20 million people are suffering from HPV worldwide. And, about 6.2 million new cases of HPV are diagnosed each year. In most cases, HPV can cause genital warts which are treated easily by medications. Besides, some home remedies and OTC topical creams like Vidarox may also help. Sometimes, HPV has also been linked to other cancers like throat cancer, vaginal cancer, anal cancer and penis cancer. But, cervical cancer is the most common type caused by the high-risk HPV.

Genital warts

  1. Most cases of cervical cancer are preventable.

The simplest way to avoid cancer is to prevent the virus HPV in the first place. And, HPV vaccination is a highly effective for cervical cancer prevention. Like other vaccines, the HPV vaccine stimulates the immune system against HPV infections. Doctors recommend females between the ages of 9-26 should get 2 or 3 shots over a six-month period.

There are also some things you can do to prevent cervical cancer. These include routine Pap testing, condom use and not smoking. A Pap test is used for detecting abnormal changes on the cells of the cervix. Thanks to this, people can prevent the cancer of cervix from forming. But, more than ½ of American women who have HPV infections have never had or rarely had this test. So, every woman should have a Pap test for early detection and appropriate treatment.

  1. Not all strains of HPV can cause cancer.

There are about 150 strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are serious, but not always cause HPV-related cancers. Both men and women can be infected with HPV at some point in their lives. While most strains of HPV can go away without treatment, some can lead to cervical cancer. Additionally, some can develop genital warts, not linked to cancer. And others can cause different types of warts. For example:

  • Periungal warts occur in clusters or groups around toenails or fingernails
  • Common warts grow around the hands
  • Flat warts develop on the face or legs
  • Plantar warts appear on the soles of feet

These warts normally look like fleshy bumps, do not itch or hurt, and tend to be grainy and hard.

Warts on hands

  1. Non-sexual behaviors can also increase risk of cervical cancer.

Besides sexual contact, other factors can also up your cervical cancer risk. These include smoking, oral contraceptives, overweight and family history.

If you have HPV, smoking can triple your risk of cervical cancer. Smoke suppresses the body’s immune system, which reduces the ability to fight the virus.

Long-term use of oral contraceptives can raise your chances of cervical cancer. If you’re overweight, you may increase your risk of the disease, too.

Moreover, family history may contribute to cervical cancer risks. If you have a sister or mother with cervical cancer, you’re 2 or 3 times more likely to get the disease.

  1. There’s no early sign of cervical cancer, but there are warning signs.

Cervical cancer is often referred to as a silent killer. It’s because cervical cancer does not show any symptoms in the early stages. But as the disease progresses, the signs and symptoms may become prominent. Some common warning signs of cervical cancer are:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge/ vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Leg pain
  • Constant fatigue
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Heavier and longer menstrual periods
  • Discomfort while urinating

If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor right away.

warning signs of cervical cancer

  1. There are treatment options for cervical cancer, by stage.

For most stages of cervical cancer, the treatment may include:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery

Treatment options depend on how much cervical cancer has grown. For example:

  • Stage 0: Pre-cancer. Treatments include cryosurgery, laser surgery, hysterectomy or cone biopsy.
  • Stage IA1: The cancer has grown into lymph or blood vessels. Treatments are cone biopsy, radical hysterectomy or pelvic lymph nodes- removal.
  • Stage IA2: Radical trachelectomy, radical hysterectomy and cone biopsy.
  • Stage IB1 and IIA1: Surgery and radiation.
  • Stage IB2 and IIA2: Chemo-radiation and radical hysterectomy.
  • Stages IIB, III, and IVA: Chemo-radiation and radiation therapy.

have a pap test to detect cervical cancer

All of above are 6 amazing things about cervical cancer every woman should know. Doctors say that 93% of cervical cancer can be prevented and treated. So, you need to understand the disease, and keep your cervix and yourself healthy.

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