It is a pity that a lot of women are not as informed about cervical cancer as they should be. Most of the women I know fear breast cancer; but cervical cancer doesn’t elicit the same fear. The reason: they don’t know enough about it to be scared of getting it.
Well, just for the record, you don’t have to be ‘scared’ of any of these conditions; but you know what I meant by what I just said. For your benefit, here’s a crash course on cervical cancer.
The cervix is that part of a woman’s reproductive system, which is located at the lowermost and narrowest part of the uterus.
The cervix is, in reality, a passageway of sorts; which is the connecting point between the uterus and the outer vagina. When a woman is menstruating, her blood will flow from the uterus to the vagina, through the cervix.
The cervix also helps to form mucus, which during sexual intercourse helps the sperms to pass through and reach the uterus.
When it comes to the time of pregnancy, the cervix will keep itself closed tightly so that the baby remains inside the uterus; and the same cervix will open up during childbirth so that the child can pass through the vaginal opening.
About Cervical Cancer:
Cervical cancer symptoms will first begin to show up when there are cancerous growths affecting the cells on the surface of the cervix. With time, the cervical cancer could begin invading deeper parts of the cervix and its tissue formation. The cancerous cells will then break away from the primary tumor and enter the lymph vessels.
When you do get diagnosed with cancer, it is but natural for you to wonder; ‘Why did it happen?’ There is no specific way of explaining why certain women get cervical cancer and why other women don’t. However, there are certain risk factors that end up increasing a woman’s chances of developing cervical cancer symptoms.
Here are some cervical cancer causes that make a difference –
Human Papillomavirus is a group of viruses that are known to cause for infections of the cervix. HPV is considered to be the cause of almost all known cases of cervical cancer.
These viruses generally get passed on due to sexual contact. If the occurrence of HPV is known of early on, the changes can be prevented by killing off the cells before they turn cancerous.
Lack of Pap Tests:
Women who do not get regular Pap tests may be at a risk of cervical cancer. Pap tests help your doc to test you for the occurrence of any abnormal cells. If they’re found in your body, these cells can be killed before they reach the cervical cancer stage.
If women who are infected with HPV smoke alongside, there are higher chances of them getting affected by cervical cancer.
Weakened Immune System:
If you’re infected with HIV or if you have been taking drugs that could have suppressed your immunity, you might be at a risk of cervical cancer.
If a woman has had a sexual history that involves many partners, she might be at a higher risk of developing this form of cancer.
Using Birth Control Pills:
If you’ve been using birth control pills for a period over 5 years, there are elevated chances of you being affected by cervical cancer if you have HPV infection. The good thing, however, is that the risk decreases if you get off the pills.
Cervical Cancer Symptoms:
Unfortunately there are no symptoms displayed during the early stages of this condition; but when the cancer grows larger, there might be some symptoms that show up –
* Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
* Bleeding that could occur in between the regular menstrual period
* Bleeding right after sexual intercourse
* Menstrual periods that involve heavy bleeding
* Bleeding even after menopause
* Increase in vaginal discharge
* Pain in the pelvic region
* Intense pain experienced during sexual intercourse