According to data from the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, every year, almost 13,000 women in the US are detected with cervical cancer. Studies also reveal that maximum women diagnosed fall in the age group of 35-44, whereas about 15% of those affected are over 55 years old. A very few women who are under 20 years are affected by this disease.
Here Are many more facts that you must know about cervical cancer, its prevention and cure.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Is the Most Common Cause
This sexually transmitted infection causes almost 99% of cervical cancer. The most widespread strains of the virus, HPV 18 and HPV 16, are accountable for almost 70% of all cervical cancer cases. Around 14 million new cases of HPV infections are detected every year. While a few of these clear up, infections that continue can result in severe health problems.
It Is Possible to Prevent Cervical Cancer
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized three vaccines for HPV. The first and foremost vaccine was Gardasil, which was approved in 2006, to prevent HPV 18 and HPV 16 infections. In the year 2009, the FDA approved another vaccine called Cervarix. The third vaccine to be approved was Gardasil 9, which was proven to be 97% effective in preventing not only cervical cancer but also vaginal and vulvar cancer and safeguarding against other kinds of highly risky HPV strains; this was approved in the year 2014. Doctors recommend youngsters in the age group of 9-26 to get immunized against HPV.
Cervical Cancer Doesn’t Show Symptoms
Many people may have initial stages of cervical cancer, but they may not even realize it. The reason is that it’s a slowly developing cancer and the symptoms or signs don’t show up immediately. However, as the cancer cells spread and get more advanced, the symptoms become more obvious. The symptoms include:
- Vaginal bleeding between periods, after intercourse, orafter a pelvic checkup
- Vaginal bleeding following menopause
- Heavy vaginal discharge with a foul order
- Pain during sexual intercourse or pelvic pain for unknown reasons
LGBTQ+ Women Are Not Likely to be Examined for Cervical Cancer
This may be because of fear of being discriminated against, horrifying previous experiences with doctors or misinformation about cervical cancer.
All Women over 21 Years Must Be Regular Screened
The routine screening for cervical cancer must include a yearly pelvic examination and a periodic PAP test. For a PAP test, cells are collected from the cervix and examined for any irregularities. Women in their 20s should get a PAP examination once in three years as long as their results are normal. Women in the age group of 30-64 years should get a PAP test once in five years as far as their results are normal.
Smoking and Immunodeficiency Disorders Increase Cervical CancerRisk
Besides having HPV, there are other aspects that could increase the risk of getting cervical cancer. Few aspects like smoking and immunodeficiency disorders decrease the response of your immune system and enable cancer to form. The rate of cervical cancer is higher in those women who use oral contraceptives for five years or more and also those who have given birth thrice or more. The other risk factors are being overweight, teenage pregnancy before 17 years, and a family history of this kind of cancer.
It Is Possible to Treat Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer treatment includes surgery as the main treatment, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy,or a combination of these. You can discuss the best course of treatment with your doctor. They can prescribe the right treatment keeping in mind the tumour size and depending on whether it has spread over to the motherboard parts. Your physician will also consider your age, medical condition and other factors while assessing the right treatment.
Get routine screenings done to ensure that you can keep cervical cancer at bay.