Cervical cancer is a common type of cancer that develops in females. It’s the second most common cancer found in women after breast cancer.
The lowest part of a woman’s uterus is called the uterine cervix. It connects the uterus with the vagina. Cervical cancer develops in the uterine cervix due to the abnormal growth of the cervix cells. These cells gradually begin to affect other organs and tissues of the body. Cervical cancer is a slow-progressing disease, which means patients have a good chance of recovery if the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage.
Most women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer are in their 20s and 30s. However, the average age of women suffering from this type of cancer is the mid-50s.
The Risk Factors and Causes of Cervical Cancer
Changes in the cervical tissue lead to the diagnosis of cervical cancer. These abnormal changes are triggered due to an infection called human papillomavirus (HPV). The risk of developing cervical cancer increases due to sexual contact before 16 years of age, having sex with multiple partners, and taking oral contraceptives. This is because all these factors expose women to various HPV infections.
Another common cause of cervical cancer is smoking. It has been found that the chemicals in cigarette smoke affect the cervix cells and cause abnormal changes that over a certain period of time transform into cancer.
The Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
Like in most types of cancers, there are no major symptoms of cervical cancer that come into notice. However, when cervical cancer progresses with time, the following symptoms might become evident:
- Pain in the uterus area
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Kidney failure due to obstruction in the urinary tract caused by the advanced cancer
When Is it a Good Time to Visit a Doctor
The vaginal bleeding is not the symptom that should worry you. It might not be related to cervical cancer. It can happen due to any other reason, including your age, medical history, and fertility. However, vaginal bleeding after your menopause warrants an immediate medical check up. You must also visit a doctor if you experience excessive bleeding during your period or intermittent bleeding between your periods. It’s also not normal to experience vaginal bleeding after a sexual intercourse.
Get more information at targetingcancer.com.au today if you’re not sure when one must visit a doctor for a proper medical check up.
The Necessary Preventions
Attempts are being made to eradicate cervical cancer, and Australia might be the first country to do so, but in the meantime, the following necessary preventions are more than necessary.
- Don’t smoke
- Use condoms instead of birth control pills
- Get vaccinated to prevent yourself from certain HPV infections.
- Do not use birth control pills for more than five years.
Even though cervical cancer is a slow-progressing disease, it doesn’t mean it’s not life-threatening. If ever in doubt, you must take screening tests and consult doctors before it gets too late.