Our blog aims to raise awareness about cervical cancer to educate, support, encourage, and enlighten everyone in our community. However, living a healthy lifestyle may not ensure cancer prevention, but it can reduce the risk of getting cancer. “February 4 is World Cancer Prevention Month, which aims to raise awareness about cancer and promote efforts to maintain good health. It’s important to prioritize your health and encourage your family and friends to do the same to prevent millions of deaths caused by cancer each year.”
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer occurs due to abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. The disease typically progresses at a slow pace. The lowest part of the uterus that connects the vagina is called the cervix. Through screening tests and vaccination against HPV infection, you can lower your risk of developing cervical cancer. Medical treatment can halt the growth of cancer if the medical tests indicate any abnormal changes in cells.
In cervical cancer, surgery is often used as the first treatment, and medication to destroy the cancer cells may be one of the other treatments. Chemotherapy and medications for targeted therapy are possible options. Radiation therapy is another option.
The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is responsible for most cervical cancers and comes in different strains. A common infection spread during sexual contact is HPV. When HPV enters the body, the immune system usually prevents it from causing harm. If the virus stays for years, then it plays a part in the process by which some cervical cells develop into cancerous cells.
Also read: Hormonal changes in men
The following are the most common signs that cancer may arise from early cell changes:
- vaginal bleeding in between menstruations.
- Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer or is heavier than normal.
- Pain during or after sexual activity.
- Pelvic pain
- An increase in the amount of discharge coming from your vagina, or a strong, unusual odor or color
- Bleeding from the vagina after menopause.
- Frequent urinary infections
If you experience any symptoms between your scheduled cervical screening visits, you must not wait to schedule your next appointment. Consult your gynecologist or the office nurse as soon as possible and have the symptoms evaluated. Although these symptoms may feel awkward, it is important to remember that your gynecologist or practice nurse will understand and be able to help you.
The human papillomavirus infection is the primary risk factor for cancer (HPV). Some other factors that may also cause cervical cancer are:
- smoking and passive smoking.
- a weakened immune system.
- The majority of people are infected with HPV, which is highly common.
- Using the pill for birth control for longer than five years.
- Early sexual contact raises the risk of HPV.
This cancer is an uncommon outcome of HPV infection; the majority of women who have the virus never develop cervical cancer.
Types of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is classified by the type of cell in which it originates. The main types include:
a) Squamous cell carcinoma
Thin, flat cells known as squamous cells are the first to develop in this kind of cervical cancer. The outside of the cervix is lined with squamous cells. Sclerotic cervical malignancies account for the majority of cases.
The column gland cells lining the cervical canal are where this particular type of cervical cancer starts.
Both kinds of cells can occasionally have a role in cervical cancer. Cancer in other cervical cells happens extremely infrequently.
Treatment for cervical cancer
A group of experts will meet to discuss the optimal course of action for you. Multiple treatments may apply to you. A clinical trial may involve your care as well. Cancer treatment options include:
- Radiation therapy
- Personalized treatment
- The primary cancer treatment that has progressed locally is chemotherapy.
- If the disease has progressed to distant organs like the liver or lungs, chemotherapy and, occasionally, a targeted treatment called bevacizumab may be employed. It might aid in symptom relief as well as cancer shrinkage and management. It’s known as palliative care.
Ways to lower the chance of cancer:
Don’t smoke. If you currently smoke, discuss quitting with a medical practitioner.
b)Consult your physician about the HPV vaccination
Getting vaccinated against HPV can lower your risk of developing cervical cancer and other diseases linked to HPV. To find out if you should get the HPV vaccine, ask your medical team.
c)Get Pap testing regularly
Cervical precancerous diseases can be identified by Pap testing. Cancer can be avoided by treating or monitoring certain disorders. The majority of medical associations advise starting routine Pap tests at age 21 and doing them again every few years.
d)Have safe sexual relations
By taking precautions against sexually transmitted illnesses, you can lower your risk of developing cervical cancer. This can include restricting the number of sexual partners you have and always wearing a condom.
For more information, Read: Cervical cancer
As long as cervical cancer is identified early and treated appropriately, it is among the most curable types of cancer. Palliative care, combined with the right treatment, can help control cancers that have been detected in their later stages. Within a generation, cancer as a public health issue can be removed with a comprehensive strategy for prevention, screening, and treatment. If you are concerned about any symptoms, visit a physician or other health care provider.
© Ruchie Verma
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