Cervical cancer is a condition characterized by an abnormal growth of cells on the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that opens up into the vagina. Caused by a Human Papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer can be easily detected in the early stages through Pap test. The HPV is spread through sexual contact with a person who is already infected with HPV. Although, HP virus is of different types, not all of them are cancerous. Some of them may cause genital warts which is also an issue of concern.
Cervical Cancer– A Preview
Cervical cancer is the 5th most common cancer in humans and the 2nd most common cancer in women worldwide. In India, 122,844 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer & 67,477 die from the disease every year. Every 8 minutes, one woman dies due to cervical cancer in India.
Who Are At High Risk?
- Commercial Sex Workers
- HIV positive Women
- Chain smokers
- Overweight Women
- Those who use oral contraceptives excessively
- Women with family history of cervical cancer
- Females having multiple full term pregnancies
- Women With Low Immunity
- Women With Genital Herpes
- High Exposure to DES (Diethylstilbestrol)
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
Considering the severity of the problem, it is important to detect the warning signs of cervical cancer so that you can start the treatment as soon as possible. Pap test is an effective procedure to detect cervical cancer wherein the cells are scraped from the inner surface of the cervix and sent for further examination.
- Excessive Abdominal Pain: Unbearable pain in the lower belly or pelvis is one of the signs of cervical cancer.
- Abnormal bleeding: Women may experience heavy bleeding during menstrual periods or after sexual intercourse, menopause or pelvic examination.
- Painful Urination: Women may experience extreme pain during urination.
- An urge to urinate frequently: Person may constantly want to urinate.
- Vaginal Discharge: An abnormal amount of discharge from the vagina which is different in color, consistency & smell.
- Bloating or Constipation: Although, bloating is a general symptom but when it is correlated with other symptoms, it points out to have cervical cancer.
- Back Pain & Fatigue: Constant fatigue and pain in the upper or lower back is another symptom of cervical cancer.
- Unexplained Weight Loss: If there is a sudden weight loss without any diet or exercise, it is a matter of concern.
In order to curb this disease, one should always follow safe sex. Early detection is as important as precautions, hence, make sure to have a healthy lifestyle and active routine. Keep a check on these warning signs and be alert regarding the various preventive measures available.