The sneak thief called Cervical Cancer
Seriously how many women out there really know what cervical cancer is? Chances are that most women don’t really know what cervical cancer is, and often end up living with it till it’s too late to be cured.
Knowing the cervix: The cervix is the narrow lower end of the uterus that opens into the vagina and connects both of them. Cancer of the cervix is marked by the by abnormal growth of cells lining the walls of the cervix.
Symptoms of cervical cancer: Owing to the lack of obvious symptoms that usually accompany an illness, cervical cancer has been notorious for being a killer disease simply because it is ignored by most women. The warning signs of the type of cancer are too similar and familiar to women, and range from vaginal bleeding, mild pain during intercourse to vaginal discharges.
The cancer in an advanced stage may lead to severe back and pelvic pain, often marked by swollen feet, loss of appetite, heavy bleeding, bleeding post menopause, loss of weight and uncommon fatigue.
How to check if you’re at risk: Whether or not you have cervical cancer can only be found through a pap test or a smear test, where cells are scraped off the cervix and be checked for signs of malignant growth.
The pap test, invented by noted Greek doctor Georgios Papanikolaou and so named after him, is also a smear test. Since the test can also detect other infections and abnormalities, it is the most popular and widely suggested method across the world to test women for cervical cancer.
Causes of cervical cancer: Most cases of cervical cases were found in women who have had multiple sexual partners. It is considered as a sexually transmitted disease for the sole reason that the virus that causes the cancer, human papillomavirus or HPV, can be caught by having sexual contact with a person who has it.
Though not all types of HPV result in cancer, the absence of serious symptoms has misled many women, which is why regular smear tests, usually once in 3 years for those between the ages of 25 and 49, and once in 5 years beyond 49 are suggested by doctors.