Cervical Cancer

Introduction:

It is a malignant tumor of the lowermost part of the uterus (womb) that
can be prevented by PAP smear screening and a HPV vaccine.

Symptoms include bleeding in between periods and after sexual
intercourse. Foul smelling white discharge and low back pain or lower
abdominal pain may also occur. In some cases there may be no
symptoms.

Treatments include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

What causes cervical cancer?

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is found in about 99% of cervical cancers.
More than 70% of cervical cancer cases can be attributed to the two
types of the virus, HPV – 16 and HPV – 18.

Cervical cancer causing – HPV types are nearly always transmitted as a
result of sexual contact with an infected individual.

Smoking also increases the risk of developing many cancers, including
cervical cancer.

People with weakened immune systems such as those with HIV/AIDS
have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.

A woman who experiences high levels of stress over a sustained time
may be at increased risk of developing cervical cancer.

Women who gave birth before the age of 17 are significantly more
likely to develop cervical cancer.

Long – term use of some common contraceptive pills slightly raises a
woman’s risk.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

Often during the early stages people may experience no symptoms at
all. This is why women should have regular cervical smear tests.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding in post – menopausal women
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal discharge tinged with blood
  • Pelvic pain

Links to some studies related to cervical cancer