One of the greatest enemies of women’s health is Cervical cancer. Anticipating the diagnosis is essential to win the battle against tumor. The most characteristic symptoms, pain during intercourse.
The prevention and early diagnosis are two essential weapons to stand up to one of the most aggressive tumors for women, cervical cancer. Thanks to medical advances and increased awareness, the survival rate has increased considerably in recent years, but never let down our guard. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, resulting in the vagina, from which samples are taken for the so-called Pap test or Pap smear.
Table of Contents
What are the causes of cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer occurs when cancer cells begin to grow abnormally and uncontrollably. Today we know that one of the main causes is the presence of HPV or human papilloma virus, the infection can result from unprotected sex. Not all types of HPV can lead to cancer. Often, the presence of this virus is asymptomatic, remaining in the body for years to manifest as tumor. The Pap tests to identify the cells before it develop as a tumor.
What types of papillomaviruses cause cervical cancer?
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV, although it should be noted that up to a hundred different types and most are harmless and even asymptomatic. The most common causes of this cancer are HPV16 and HPV18, but experts say there are other causes as yet unidentified.
Symptoms of cervical cancer
In the early stages, when it begins to alter the cervical cells, there are usually no specific symptoms. Only at a later stage, symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, abnormal menstrual cycle, and vaginal discharge with blood stains and pain during intercourse.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Visit the gynecologist at least once a year is a basic prevention council for women’s health. The so-called Pap test, consists of removed some cells from the cervix for analysis with the microscope. If cellular alterations of any kind are identified, there will be other diagnostic tests for a more detailed examination (biopsy with a small sample of tissue).
This type of cancer, if detected early, can be treated successfully. The treatment, however, usually involves removing the uterus (hysterectomy). It must also take into account whether the tumor has spread to the fallopian tubes. Early diagnosis can prevent the total removal of the uterus while maintaining the ability to have children.
Other techniques for treating cervical cancer
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy can also be used for treatment, alone or combined with surgery. Radiation therapy is often recommended as an alternative to the operating room when detected at an early stage. Both treatments can lead to infertility. In all phases, also psychological support, especially in the case of a hysterectomy in younger women, cases in which in addition to fighting against the cancer it is necessary to assume the loss of the ability to have children. Emotions play an important role in the fight against all forms of cancer.
Forecast cervical cancer
The earlier the tumor is detected, the greater the chances of survival. Currently the survival rate at 5 years of diagnosis is 90%. The age factor is also critical, because the prognosis is more positive in the case of young women.
Prevent Cervical Cancer
Prevention is an essential weapon, a powerful tool that women have at their disposal to defend against this type of tumor. Thus, among the basic prevention measures include the use protection during sex, especially if there is no stable partner. The protection helps not only to prevent the spread of HPV, but other conditions also affect the quality of women life, such as yeast infection.
Vaccination against HPV
There is another preventive tool we cannot forget and vaccination against HPV 16 and HPV 18 strains most responsible for cervical cancer. Young people between 12 to 13 years were administered the vaccine being considered very effective if administered at an early age, before the onset of sexual intercourse.