What is Cervical Cancer?

Do you know much about cervical cancer? Have you ever thought that you might be at risk? Well, you are not alone in your thinking. Women around the world do not realise that they are at risk. The facts are that cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged between 15 and 44 years. In the UK, alone, there are about 2800 new cases of cervical cancer every year and about 1100 deaths; this means that on average 21 women die each week from cervical cancer, yearly. Getting educated, finding more information and ensuring your personal health is your responsibility, make sure you take care and use the information provided to you to maintain a healthy body and a healthy life.

These shocking statistics and facts will show that many people are ignorant to cervical cancer; if more was known about this common, lethal disease the statistics would not be so shocking. This is because cervical cancer is treatable if caught early. Prevention is the best method to ensure this cancer never affects you; regular cervical screening and early detection are the best preventative methods. You may wonder why regular screening is necessary: the fact is that a virus called human papillomavirus nearly always causes cervical cancer, and most women will be exposed to this virus in their life. Another shocking statistic is that up to 80% of sexually active women will have an infection in their lifetime. Most of these infections are cleared and fought by the body’s immune system, and you will not notice any symptoms.

Looking at the facts, and taking into consideration that up to 80% of sexually active women are at risk, all women should take precautionary measures to ensure optimum health. Preventative measures are simple: getting expert advice from your doctor or local family planning centre will help you take the first steps to prevention of cervical cancer. Depending on your risk factors, your doctor will inform you how often you need to have a smear test (cervical screening test).

If you think that you are not at risk, because you use a condom, the facts remain that condoms will not always protect you from picking up the human papillomavirus. Women can have been exposed to the virus many years before the virus creates abnormal cells, leading to cervical cancer. We recommend that you do not risk your health and your life by taking risky chances. There are many good websites on the internet, where you can find more information, or you can talk to your health-provider. Make sure you do not become a statistic, educate yourself about cervical cancer and live a long and healthy life.

How Human Papilloma Virus Can Cause Cervical Cancer

If you study broadly and deeply you will come to know that Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) is very dangerous virus and it is a combined form of over 100 different types of HPVs. These viruses are also called papillomaviruses because these viruses can enhance the occurrence of genital warts or papillomas which are considered to be benign or non cancerous tumors. However according to the health consultants, HPVs which boost up the occurrence of the common type warts are totally different from the warts that are found in the genitals.

The high risk cancer is also called Oncogenic cancer. Mainly it is seen that HPV attacks the body via sexual intercourse. The HPV infected patients will infect you if you have the physical attachment with her. So far as the Human Papilloma Virus Cervical Cancer is concerned, it is found that HPV has the major role to play to cause the Human Papilloma Virus Cervical Cancer.

In 2007, it was calculated that approximately 11,000 female partners in America alone were diagnosed with the Human Papilloma Virus Cervical Cancer and it was also estimated that 4000 would face the death due to the severest form of Human Papilloma Virus Cervical Cancer. According to the healthcare consultants, the HPV also enhances the chance of the occurrence of the cancer in the certain areas of vulva, anus, vagina and penis.

HPV infection will speed up the occurrence of oropharyngeal cancer which attacks the oropharynx which is located in the center or middle portion of throat and soft palate. HPV will surely instigates the possibility of the spread of the cervical cancer and if you are female, you need to take the special measures to safeguard your body from the cervical cancer.

It will be better for you to go to the doctors for the complete checkup. The doctors will prescribe the good medication and apply other treatment procedures for the betterment of the health of the body. If there is massive cell change, you will run through the high risk zone and you must opt for the good protection from Human Papilloma Virus Cervical Cancer.

There are other causes which develop the causes of the cervical cancer like excessive smoking and the tendency to have many kids within short span of time. if you have more than couple of partners, you will expect the fear of being attacked by HPV disease. Therefore please take appropriate measures for the good protection of your body from the HPV virus attack.

Can We Control Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is voraciously eating women of reproductive age. The third most common kind of cancer claims almost half a million women worldwide. This disease is more prevalent in developing countries and accounts for 80% of global mortality across the world.

Out of a group of human papilloma viruses (HPV), a few varieties have been categorized under high risk- human papilloma viruses (HPV). These varieties have been proved to be the causative agents of cervical cancer. This malignant neoplasm (tumor) starts at the cervix and opens at the top of the vagina.

Common symptoms associated with this disease are abnormal bleeding from the vagina, pelvic pain and back pain. Precancerous stage or the early stage of this disease is usually asymptomatic. This disease takes time to intensify into cancerous condition.

Risk Factors

A number of risk factors have been associated with this disease out of which few factors can be controlled by us. A list of such factors is as follows-

  • Smoking– It has been proved that both active and passive smoking increase the risk of cervical cancer. The carcinogenic byproducts of tobacco have been found in the cervical mucus of the actively smoking women. These substances can damage the DNA of the cervical cells. Keeping the ill effects of smoking in view it is suggested to stop it.
  • Oral contraceptives– Use of oral contraceptives for more than five years is related with increase in the risk of cervical cancer. The mechanism of action of contraceptives is not clear but it is hypothesized that hormone-related mechanisms promotes the integration of HPV DNA into the host genome. This in turn promotes the transition from premalignant to malignant state. As an alternative to contraceptives it is advisable to use condoms.
  • High Parity– Sex at a very early age and a higher rate of full term pregnancies is closely associated with this disease. A higher rate of pregnancy maintains the transformation zone on the exocervix for many years. This in turn facilitates the direct exposure to HPV and other cofactors. Sex education to adolescent girls will be helpful to eradicate this problem.
  • Weakened Immune System– Food rich in vital nutrients boosts up our immune system. Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which help us to fight against many diseases including cervical cancer.
  • Safe Sex– A women having multiple sexual partners or whose sexual partner participates in high risk sexual activities can easily succumb to this disease. Sex education can be a solution to this problem also.

Detection / Preventive Measures

Use of vaccination and Pap smears (Papanicolaou test)

  • Vaccinations – Scientists across the world are struggling hard to synthesize a vaccine which can fight this deadly disease. They have achieved success to some extent as the vaccines are capable of fighting against only few strains of HPV. Moreover the identification of target group for administration of vaccine involves some ethical issues. Very young pre-pubertal girls who had no previous sexual exposure are the right target for vaccination. Hence vaccination does not assure a complete eradication of cervical cancer.
  • Pap smears- Cells scrapped from the tip of the cervix are observed under microscope to detect the cancerous or precancerous condition of the cervix. It is advisable to have this test done after the age of 21 at every 2 years of intervals. This test detects the disease in very initial stage making its cure easier. Awareness about this test and making it available at a cheaper price is a favorable step towards control of cervical cancer in developing countries.
  • Apart from these preventive measures steps to control risk factors and general maintenance of health and hygiene is also recommended to control this disease.

Vaccines are being promoted by the doctors and pharmaceutical companies. But many facts are not being communicated to the common man. Vaccine alone is like a half equipped, single man army fighting against a deadly disease like cervical cancer. Awareness about all the angles of this disease is very essential as getting Pap smears done and leading a healthy sexual life are also equally essential.