Cancer of Cervix – Risk factors and Prevention
Cervical cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the cervix and spreads throughout the body. The cervix is a long tube that links a woman’s womb to her vaginal canal.
Cancer of cervix is a malignant tumour that develops in the cells of the cervix, which links the womb to the vaginal canal.
Usually, cancer of cervix is caused by different strains of the human papillomavirus also known as HPV, a sexually transmitted infection.
When the person is exposed to HPV, the immune system usually stops the virus from causing any harm. Nevertheless, in a tiny number of people, the virus can live for years, leading to the transformation of certain cervical cells into cancer cells.
Cervical cancer can be prevented by having screening tests and getting a vaccination that protects against HPV infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Cancer of Cervix
Cancer of cervix in its early stages usually has no symptoms.
Cancer of cervix that has progressed has the following symptoms and sign:
- Genital bleeding may occur after a sexual encounter, during a period, or after menopause.
- Vaginal discharge that is watery, crimson, and has a bad odour.
- Pelvic pain or discomfort during sexual activity
Causes of Cancer of Cervix
Cervical cancer can mutation in the DNA of healthy cells in the cervix. The DNA of a cell includes the blueprints that tell it what to do.
Good cells develop and replicate at a certain pace before dying at a predetermined period. The mutations can cause the cells to proliferate and replicate uncontrollably, and they do not perish as a result. The aberrant cells that are multiplying create a bulk tumour. Cancerous cells can infiltrate adjacent tissues and break out from a tumour to spread and undergo metamorphosis to other parts of the body.
Although the exact etiology of cervical cancer is unknown, HPV is known to play a role. Human papillomavirus is quite widespread, as well as the majority of persons infected with it and never cause cancer. This indicates that other variables, including your surroundings and personal decisions, have a role as to whether or not you acquire cancer of cervix.
Types of Cancer of Cervix
The form of cancer of cervix you have influences your prognosis and treatment options. Cervical cancer comes in a variety of forms namely:
- Adenocarcinoma. The column-shaped glandular cells that border the cervical canal are where this kind of cancer of cervix originates.
- Squamous cell carcinoma is a kind of cancer that affects the skin. Cancer of cervix of this sort starts in the thin, flat cells that line the outer section of the cervix, and protrudes into the vaginal canal. Squamous cell carcinomas account for the majority of cervical malignancies.
Cancer of cervix can incorporate both types of cells at times. Cancer in the cervix’s other cells occurs very rarely.
Cancer of cervix is linked to the following risk factors:
- There are several sex partners. The more sexual partners you have — and the more sexual partners your partner has — the more likely you are to get human papillomavirus.
- Sexual behaviour at a young age. Human Papillomavirus infection is more likely if you have sex while you’re young.
- Infections spread by sexual contact (Sexual transmitted infections) . Other sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and chlamydia enhance your chance of contracting Human Papillomavirus.
- An impaired immune mechanism. If your immune response is impaired by some other health issue and you have human papillomavirus, you may be more prone to developing cancer of cervix.
- Smoking. Squamous cell cancer of cervix is linked to smoking.
- Miscarriage prevention medication exposure. Unless your mother used the medicine di-ethyl-stilbestrol while pregnant in the mid-1950s, then may well have a higher chance of clear cell adenocarcinoma, a kind of cancer of cervix.
Prevention of Cancer of Cervix
In order to reduce your risk of cancer of cervix:
- Make sure you’re having a good time with your partner. Take steps to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, such as using a latex condom every time you have sex and restricting your sexual partners, to lower your risk of cancer of cervix.
- Inquire about the human papillomavirus vaccination with your doctor. Preventing human papillomavirus infection with a vaccine may lower your risk of cervical cancer and other HPV-related malignancies. Consult your doctor to see if an HPV vaccination is right for you.
- Please don’t smoke. Don’t start smoking if you don’t already. Whenever you smoke, consult a doctor about quitting options.
- Pap tests should be done on a regular basis. Pre-cancerous abnormalities of the cervix can be detected via Pap tests, which can then be examined or treated to avoid cervical cancer. Routine Pap tests should be started at the age of 21 (mostly) and repeated every few years, according to most medical organizations.