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Curative and Prevention Tips » Cervical Cancer

The cervix, also known as the neck of the uterus, is the opening of the uterus connected to the upper vagina.  Cervical cancer or the cancer of the cervix is an abnormal growth of cancerous cells in the cervix.
It is the second most common cancer in females and it is successfully curable in the early stages of diagnosis. Cervical cancer occurs most commonly between 40 and 55 years of age.

Although the exact cause of cervical cancer is unknown, there are several risk factors which can be linked with the disease:

• Infection from HPV virus: Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the single most important factor for cervical cancer. This pass from one person to another during unprotected sex. So, women who start having sex at a young age, who have multiple sexual partners, and whose partners have had many other sexual partners are more prone to HPV.

• Early sexual activity is one such factor.The cells lining the cervix don’t mature fully before the age of 18 years.

• Other sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, syphilis, Chlamydia or AIDS increase the risk of infection from HPV.

• Cigarette smokers are more vulnerable to HPV infection.

• Possible long term use (more than 5 years) of oral contraceptives increases the chances of cervical cancer.

Early cervical cancers generally do not produce any symptoms. But as the cancer advances, the following symptoms can be observed:

• Pain or bleeding during or after the intercourse

• Bleeding between the menstrual cycles

• Vaginal bleeding after menopause

• An unpleasant vaginal discharge

In advanced stages, it causes pelvic pain, vaginal leakage of urine or feces from a fistula, anorexia, weight loss and anemia. The person should see the doctor as soon as these symptoms are observed.

The following can be done to prevent the risk of cervical cancer:

• Get a regular Pap smear.This is the greatest defenses for cervical cancer. The Pap smear can detect cervical changes early before the turn into cancer.

• Limit the amount of sexual partners.

• Quit smoking and avoid second hand smoke.

• Practice protected sex; use condoms.This can prevent the transmission of HPV through STDs.

• Get the HPV vaccine.Females under the age of 27 are eligible for receiving this vaccine.

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