Cancer has created a gap which cannot be filled up, it has caused several deaths, high poverty and loss to many families. There are several types of cancer but among them cervical cancer is among the highest in as much as affection is concerned. Cervical cancer is a cancer type that occurs in the cells of the cervix that is, the lower part of the womb that links the vagina.
Where cervical cancer start?
Cervical cancer starts when the healthy cells around the cervix mutate (acquire a genetic change) causing them into abnormal cells. The healthy cells continue to grow and multiply at a set rate and they eventually die at the same time. The abnormal cells continue accumulating to a point where they cannot be controlled and unlike the healthy cells they do not die. The abnormal cells attack the nearby tissues and they can break off from a tumour and spread in the whole body.
It is difficulty to actually determine what causes cervical cancer but it is certain that human papilloma virus (HPV) plays a major role. The HPV virus is very common and most of the women with the virus do not develop cervical cancer. This clearly indicates that there are other factors such as lifestyle choices and environment determining development of cervical cancer.
How does cervical cancer develop?
The development of cancer occurs in four stages, these are the stages which doctors rely upon in order the best type of treatment the patient deserves.
Stage 0: At this stage the precancerous cells are present in the cervix.
Stage 1: The cancer cells have multiplied in the cervix and they have started attacking the deeper tissues of the cervix and probably in the womb and surrounding lymph nodes.
Stage 2: Due to high multiplication of the cancer cells at this stage they have moved beyond the cervix and the cervix but not yet attacked the pelvis and the lower part of the vagina. The surrounding lymph nodes may not be affected also.
Stage 3: Cancer cells have moved to the lower parts of the vagina and the walls of the pelvic and they may block the ureters.
Stage 4: At the last stage the cancer cells affect the rectum and they are growing out of the pelvis. Later on it spreads into the liver, bones, lungs and lymph nodes.
How can one Know that Cervical Cancer is Developing?
During the early cervical cancer stages a person may not experience any symptom at all. Thus, women should severally go for cervical smear tests or pap tests. A pap test is preventive and it aims not only to detect cancer but also any cell changes indicating cancer development for the affected to take the necessary action to treat it.
Common cancer symptoms:
- Vaginal bleeding before or after the normal menstruation period.
- Massive bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Post-menopausal women bleeding
- Feeling uncomfortable during
- Strong odour vaginal discharge
- Vaginal discharge mixed with blood
- Massive pain in the pelvic
It is recommendable that you see a doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Accelerators of cervical cancer
- Having many sexual partners:The HPV virus which plays a major role in cervical cancer can be transmitted through sext with an infected person. Thus, women with many sex partners are generally at a high risk of HPV, this increases the risk of developing cervical cancer.
- Early sexual conduct:If the young women start having sex at early ages they are at a very high risk of acquiring the HPV virus, hence, great risk of cervical cancer development.
- Having the other sexually transmitted infections (STI’s): Women having other sexually transmitted infections like Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis have a high risk of HPV thus developing cervical cancer.
- A weakened immune system:People living with HIV/AIDS and those whom have undergone transplant leading to use of immunosuppressive medications, are at high risk of cervical cancer development.
- Smoking: Smoking not only leads to the cervical cancer development but also the other cancer types.
- Extreme use of birth control pills:women exposed to contraceptive pills for a long-term have high risk of cervical cancer development.
How can one Avoid Cervical Cancer?
There are several ways a lady can use to avoid the risk of cervical cancer development.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
There is a major connection between cervical cancer development and HPV. If every woman seeks for the HPV vaccination programs, the frequency of cervical cancer will greatly decrease.
Practising Safe sex
Every woman should ensure that they practice safe sex to avoid the spread of HPV by using condoms and through that cervical cancer development frequence will decrease.
Going for Cervical screening
Going for cervical cancer screening regularly may help an affected person detect changes in the cervical cells in the cervix and treat cervical cancer at early stages before it spreads.
Being faithful to your sex partner
HPV can be transmitted through sex and thus having many sex partners increases the risk of acquiring the virus. Women should ensure that they have one sex partner and remain faithful to him to reduce the chances of getting the virus. Through being faithful to your partner you will reduce the chances of developing cervical cancer.
Delaying first sexual intercourse
Women should ensure that they do not expose themselves top sexual intercourse at early ages since the earlier the exposure the higher the chances of acquiring HPV and the longer she delays the lower the risk. Thus, delaying sexual intercourse will greatly decrease development of cervical cancer.
Smoking increases the chances of developing not only cervical cancer but also the other types of cancer. Thus, women should avoid smoking in order to reduce cervical cancer development.
Reduce use of birth control pills: women exposed to contraceptive pills for a long-term have high risk of cervical cancer development. Thus reducing the rate of exposure will reduce the chances of cancer development.