Cervical cancer is considered as the fourth most common cancer found in women across the globe, with India contributing to one-fourth of the total cases. The nation sees nearly 1,22,844 cases of this cancer each year and accounts for one-third of the cancer deaths worldwide. According to Dr. Geeth Monnappa, consultant obstetrician and gynecologist, Fortis,
As per doctors, there are several things each woman should know about cervical cancer and in this article, we will be seeing those facts.
What Is The Cause Of Cervical Cancer?
HPV is the cause of most cancers and it consumes 15-20 years from shortening the infection to developing cancer. This provides a large window to recognize women at high risk of growing cancer. According to doctors,
This is the most common viral infection of our reproductive tract. Most women who are sexually active gets in touch with the infection at some point in their lives with or without any symptoms.
There are over 100 types of HPV, of which nearly 14 strains are the high-risk types that can cause cancer. Most infections happening in women clear without any intercession within 2 years. In a few women, the high-risk strains of the virus stay in the body beyond 2 years, get unified with the cells and develop to cervical cancer. Screening at a regular interval is the key to early detection.
Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer
Now that you know the cervical cancer causes and how it persists, let us have a look at the cervical cancer symptoms that can make your job at identifying this a bit easier.
- Abnormal bleeding: Exorbitant bleeding during the menstrual cycle, bleeding after intercourse, or bleeding in-between the periods requires immediate attention and evaluation.
- Postmenopausal bleeding: Bleeding after the termination of periods for a year requires a full evaluation to identify cancers of the cervix and uterus.
- Vile smelling discharge from the vagina: Even though this is often because of vaginal infection, vaginal discharge releasing a foul smell could be an important symptom of cervical cancer.
- Severe lower-back strain: This often happens in advanced levels of cancer in cervix.
How Important Is Early Detection?
Prevention is always better than cure and hence early detection is way better than suffering from this deadly disease. It searches for alterations in the cells of the cervix that may at times become cancerous. There are various ways to detect it in the early stages. The cervical cancer stages are the same as any other cancer stage. So if any of the above mentioned cervical cancer symptoms and signs are faced by you, then you should immediately get it tested. Let us see how this detection is done.
The detection takes place as an outpatient method, where a plastic or metal instrument is inserted to broaden the vagina and see the mouth of the uterus (cervix). Several cells are taken from your cervix for microscopic examination. During this procedure, one may feel a slight discomfort that is similar to that felt during any vaginal examination.
The Bottom Line
Cancer in any form can be dangerous, but if detected in the early stage then there are various treatments for cervical cancer. One such variant is cancer of the cervix. This type of cancer is seen in women. There are several symptoms of uterus cancer that we have stated above. If you feel any such thing in your body, then you should immediately get yourself checked. Now, who all can get the detection test done that we have stated above? All women who are between 21-65 years should get regular pap smears which is the detection test done every 3 years. In this, if a woman is screened with HPV DNA along with a pap smear after 25 years, then the interval of the screening can be increased to 5 years.