Cervical cancer is the cancer of the cervix.
It is a disease caused by the abnormal growth and division of cells that forms in the lining of the cervix.
It is the second common form of cancer that affects women today.
It is very common in middle age women and older.
The statistics of cervical cancer in the United States, according to American Cancer Society (ACS), shows that about 11,150 women are diagnosing with this cancer and approximately 3,670 women die from this cancer every year.
To understand more about cervical cancer, it is important to note what a cervix is first. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that connects the uterus to the vagina (birth canal) in a woman’s body.
Usually, cervical cancer exhibits no symptoms to detect the presence of cancer in your body. It is known as a slow growing form of cancer. When cancer develops in your body, the healthy cells in the cervix begin to change into abnormal cells, which then turn into pre-cancerous cells. If left untreated, these pre-cancerous cells will turn into cancer.
Although the cause of cervical cancer is not known there are certain risk factors that increase the risk of developing this cancer. Risk factors are the things that will affect the chances of developing a disease greater.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexual transmitted disease is highly associated with invasive cervical cancer.
Sexual transmitted diseases occur due to sexual contacts with an infected person. Chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS are some of he examples of sexual transmitted diseases.
Other risk factors that increase your chances of developing cervical cancer are: a history of sexual transmitted diseases, having sexual intercourse with multiple partners, having sexual activities in very young age (without using contraceptives).
Smoking doubles your risk of having cancer of the cervix. Weakened immune system, regular usage of birth control pills, age, giving birth to many children, and irregular pap tests increases your risk of developing cervical cancer.
As the cause of cervical cancer is unknown, it can be detected with regular Pap tests or pap smears. It is very important for you to have regular Pap tests to identify the condition early to take appropriate treatment and prevent cervical cancer from developing.
With Pap tests, you can detect the cancer in the early stages before it spreads to other parts of the body. Pap smear is a procedure where scraped cells from the cervix are examined under a microscope to check for the changes in the cells of your cervix that leads to cervical cancer.
The rate of cervical cancer in women has greatly decreased in recent years in the United States due to regular pap smears.
As cervical cancer is a malignant tumor, it is very important for you to have Pap tests done annually. Remember, it is not a good idea to wait for signs to consult a doctor as early detection is the key to being treated successfully.