Cervical Cancer and What Can Be Done to Treat and Prevent It
What Is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is a condition that occurs when cancerous cells begin to grow inside of the cervix. Cervical cancer is the third-most common form of cancer in women. The good news is that routine pap smears can detect precancerous cells that can cause cervical cancer.
What Causes Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus, which is usually simply referred to as the HPV virus. It is important to note that there are different strains of the HPV virus, and some strains do not cause cancer.
What Are Some of The Cervical Cancer Symptoms?
Many patients do not notice any cervical cancer symptoms initially. If a woman does notice cervical cancer signs, then she could possibly overlook them. Abnormal vaginal bleeding, heavy periods and foul-smelling discharge are some of the most common symptoms of this condition. Loss of appetite, back pain and weight loss are other possible cervical cancer symptoms.
Because the symptoms of cervical cancer can easily be overlooked, it is very important for women to get pap smears regularly. A woman should have her first pap smear by the age of 21. Women who are in their 20s need to get a pap smear done every two years. Women who are over the age of 30 may only need to get a pap smear once every three years.
What Are Some Cervical Cancer Treatment Options?
The treatment that is recommended for cervical cancer is contingent upon the woman’s overall health, the stage that the cancer and whether the woman wants to have children in the future. Surgery is usually recommended for women who are in the early stages. Cryotherapy is one of the surgical options. It involves freezing the cancerous cells. Laser therapy can also be used to treat cervical cancer that is in the early stages. The light from the laser burns the abnormal tissue.
Women who are in the advanced stage of cervical cancer may be required to get a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is a procedure that removes the entire uterus.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Cervical Cancer?
Anyone who has seen cervical cancer pictures knows that this can be a very devastating condition. That is why it is best to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Women who are between the ages of nine and 26 are encouraged to get the Gardasil shot. This shot helps prevent the two forms of HPV that most frequently cause cervical cancer. Additionally, women should make sure that they practice safe sex.