What You Need to Know About Cervical Cancer

by Symptom Advice on January 7, 2012

There are several health conditions that women need to watch out for, and one of these is cervical cancer.

In the United States, more than 12 thousand cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year. it is encouraging to note, however, that if detected early enough, cervical cancer is a disease that is highly curable, and therefore, survivable.

Cervical cancer is characterized by the development and spread of abnormal cells in the cervix, a condition that is usually triggered by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

The initial onset of the disease is rarely accompanied by recognizable signs, but as it progresses, a patient may experience any of the following symptoms: unusual vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding between periods, bleeding after menopause, and bleeding or pain during intercourse.

HPV is a common virus, and most people who have been sexually active at some point in their lives are at risk for getting the virus. HPV, however, may linger in the body quietly, and it is possible to carry the infection for years.

Aside from cervical cancer, HPV is also associated with cancers of the vulva, vagina, and penis, as well as anal and oral cancers.

Any high-risk HPV strain that may linger in the body may trigger the development of abnormal cells in the cervix. while these precancerous growths do not necessarily mean that one has cervical cancer, it is possible that these abnormal growths may eventually give way to cancer cells.

As mentioned earlier, early detection is key to surviving cervical cancer, and this is achievable by undergoing regular Pap tests. it is recommended that women start having Pap tests three years after becoming sexually active, and no later than age 21. in addition to a Pap test, doctors may also recommend an HPV DNA test, which checks for the presence of high-risk forms of HPV.

Tags: cervical cancer, cervical cancer causes, cervical cancer detection, cervical cancer HPV test, cervical cancer pap smear, cervical cancer signs, cervical cancer symptoms, cervical cancer test, cervical cancer virus, what is cervical cancer

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