Learn the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer and how to avoid it
When the cells on the lower part of the uterus which opens into the vagina, called cervix, grow abnormally and out of control, cervical cancer occurs.
HPV or human papillomavirus often causes cervical cancer. Usually, HPV can be acquired through engaging in sexual contact with someone who already have it.
Not all types of HPV causes cervical cancer as it has many types that can causes different ailments such as genital warts and many others.
To know if you got infected by HPV which can cause cancer, better consult your doctor so a Pap test may be conducted.
When there is a sudden change in cervical cells, it rarely shows any symptoms. However, it is different when what you are experiencing is already cervical cancer.
Symptoms of cervical cancer may include abnormal bleeding from the vagina such as bleeding after sexual intercourse, between the time of the month, and menopausal stage.
Other symptoms also include feeling pain during sexual intercourse, hurting in the pelvis and lower body, as well as abnormal vaginal discharge.
Cervical cancer is a common affliction that affects many women of all ages, without discrimination.
According to the research conducted by cancer.net, there is an estimated 12,990 women in the United States that have been diagnosed with cervical cancer last 2016. This form of cancer had an estimated fatality count of up to 4,120.
Fortunately, unlike most other types of cancer, cervical cancer can easily be avoided through various precautions and prevention.
In a report by ABS-CBN news, gynecologist and oncologist Dr. Joy Garcia said hat women between the ages of 15 to 44 have a higher risk of having cervical cancer than women who are out of the age bracket.
Additionally, Dr. Garcia said that sexual intercourse has a factor in cervical cancer development.
“Ang pinakarason kung bakit nagkaka-cervical cancer ay dahil sa HPV (human papillomavirus). Nakukuha siya dahil sa pakikipagtalik,” Dr. Garcia says.
One sure way to avoid and prevent cervical cancer from developing on women is through vaccination against HPV.
According to Dr. Garcia, “As early as 9 years old, before sexual exposure, binibigay na ‘yung vaccine na ‘yun para mataas na ‘yung protection ng babaeng ‘yun.”
Even if a woman has been exposed to sexual acts, she still has a better chance of avoiding the illness if she gets vaccinated.
“Women na nagkaroon na ng sexual exposure, maganda pa rin ang level of protection kung ngayon pa lang siya magpapa-vaccinate,” Dr. Garcia said.
Regarless of age, Dr. Garcia said that women needs to be vaccinated. “Kahit anong age. Meron kasing three brands in the market, pero ang pinakacommon, walang age limit,” she added.
Cervical cancer can easily be prevented if detected early on. One way to find out if a woman is at risk is by going through a yearly pap smear. Annual trips to the doctor for a pap-smear is the surest way to find cervical cancer before it starts.
According to Dr. Garcia, women who have had intimate contact should consider going to three separate pap smears after the first time they’ve had these encounters.
“Kung nagkaroon na ng sexual contact ‘yung babae na ‘yun, 3 years after that, dapat nagsa-start na siyang magpa-pap smear every year until she is 65 to 70 years,” Dr. Garcia says.
Dr. Garcia added that sometimes the female body’s immune system is strong enough to expel these cancer cells by itself.
“Yung immune system niya, kakalabanin ‘yung virus, ita-try na paalisin sa katawan niya. ‘Pag hindi successful, in 10 to 15 years, pwedeng magka-cervical cancer ‘yung babaeng ‘yun.”
Those women who have been diagnosed with pre-cervical cancer cells may undergo minor surgery or cryotherapy to treat these potentially dangerous cells.
The doctor says that women receiving such treatment can still get pregnant because their cervix will still be undergoing a healing process. So rest assured, it won’t affect your reproductive system.
Treatment may also include surgeries like removal of pelvic lymph nodes, and hysterectomy.
Finding out that you or a love one has been diagnosed by cancer, regardless of types, it will sure affect your life very much. So to avoid worsening the condition, it is better to treat it while being at its early stage.
Base on the abnormality of cells, type of HPV, and how much the cervical cancer has grown, you may undergo various treatments or even combinations of them.
Or better yet, just try to avoid cancer. Although one is never really safe with anything, it’s better to do what we can so we can prevent such sickness from affecting us, our family, and our friends.
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