Cervix Cancer

Cervical cancer was one of the most common causes of death among cancer patients. However, today, more and more women are screened for cervical cancer using the Pap tests. An estimated 11,070 cases of invasive cervical cancer were diagnosed in 2008.

Cervical Cancer Risk Factors

Cervical cancer can occur in:

  • Women more than 50 years old
  • Women who have had sex at an early age, had multiple partners or had multiple pregnancies
  • Women who have a history of sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes, genital warts, or Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Women who smoke
  • Women with poor sexual hygiene

Cervical Cancer Symptoms

In the early stages, there usually are no symptoms. Later, these symptoms may begin to appear. Some of the common symptoms are

  • Menstrual bleeding that heavier and lasts longer than usual
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pain during urination
  • Bleeding between regular menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse, douching, or pelvic exam

Cervical Cancer Early Detection

Ways to detect cervical cancer early are:

  • Have annual Pap tests beginning no later than three years after starting to have vaginal intercourse, but not later than age 21. Especially, women who have had a total hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus and cervix to treat cervical cancer or pre-cancer) should have annual Pap tests done

Cervical Cancer Prevention

Some of the possible ways to prevent cervical cancer are:

  • Getting regular screening tests
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Abstaining from sex with people who have had multiple partners
  • Using barrier contraception
  • Avoiding oral contraceptives

Cervical Cancer Treatment

Possible treatments for cervical cancer are:

  • Surgery - Surgical removal of the lymph nodes (Lymphadenectomy) or removal of cervix and/or uterus
  • Cryosurgery - Using extreme cold to treat pre-cancerous conditions
  • Radiation - This type of treatment can be done internally with radioactive materials that are implanted in the uterus or externally with the use of a radiation therapy machines
  • Chemotherapy - Prescribed to treat cervical cancer and also to help radiation therapy be more effective