A Loot at Cervical Cancer Causes, Symptoms and Prevention
Cervical cancer is the development of cancerous cells in the cervix, the neck of the uterus (body part of the female reproductive system and in which the embryo nests and develops). In the USA, are detected each year more than 12000 new cases of cervical cancer. We explain in this post what is this type of cancer and how it can be prevented.
It is a very slow growing tumor, it may take up to ten years from the initial stages until it becomes malignant. In the USA, over 4000 deaths each year are caused by cervical cancer, which places us as one of the countries with high incidence rates.
The main risk factor for developing cervical cancer is infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common infection of sexually transmitted diseases, which affects sexually active men and women. Although 90% of cases of infection cure with time, some infections progress to malignant tumors.
Precancerous lesions of the uterine cervix are usually asymptomatic and detected only through regular checks cytology (Pap test), whereby the gynecologist performed a physical examination of the cervix and taking a cytological sample (smear).
In any case, the most advanced cervical lesions may occur:
– abnormal vaginal bleeding is a bleeding which appears between periods or after sex.
– Postmenopausal uterine bleeding: ie bleeding after menopause.
– Pain or discomfort during sex.
While these symptoms resemble those of other less serious diseases, it is important to consult your doctor.
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Prevention and early diagnosis
Cervical cancer is one of the few tumors that are preventive with measures. There are several effective prevention measures:
– HPV vaccine protects against some types of virus that can cause cervical cancer. This vaccine is recommended in the childhood for girls from 12 years old.
– Condom use correctly and with all partners.
– Conducting a Pap smear every three years.
The Pap smear or Pap test is the most effective and appropriate for the screening of precancerous lesions of the cervix test. This is a simple, painless test in which are collected and are then studied the cells of the vagina, cervix and vagina channel communicating with the uterus.
For early detection of cervical cancer, pap smear is recommended for all women aged between 20 and 65, at intervals of three years, through health centers and centers for sexual and reproductive health.
It is especially important for women over 35 years and that have not been made smears regularly, to get cervical cancer screened not only with pap test but also with HPV test. In women under age 20 performing this diagnostic test is not recommended, unless the woman has started early sexual relations, has had several sexual partners or has had repeated and frequent genital infections.
The women who have their uterus removed for benign disease require no cytology, except if the cervix has not been removed, in which case it is important to follow the same prevention and early detection as other women.