Cervical Cancer : What You Need To Know.
Cervical cancer is a killer disease that has sent many lives to early grave. The exact cause of this menace is not known but the single most important association is infection with a virus, human papilloma virus (HPV).
There is no cure for cervical cancer once it is established. But the good thing is that the illness passes through pre - (cancer) malignant stage over several years before developing into cancer. This pre-cancer stages are quite curable and can be detected through routine screening. Hence, there is need for every sexually active woman to go for routine screening for cervical cancer. There are also various vaccines available for cervical cancer prevention.
what causes cervical cancer?
The exact cause is not known but but the strongest predisposition factor is viral infection by human papilloma virus (HPV). Others factors include smoking, immunosuppression, multiple sexual partner, men with multiple sexual partner.
How does one get HPV infection?
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. It got from skin to skin contact during sex. Condoms does not prevent it's transmission. The virus has various forms, some can cause wharts while others cause changes in the cervix that will over time lead to cancer
Is it any one infected with HPV that develops cancer?
No! In fact about 80% of sexually active women are infected with the virus. Their body cells fight and clear the infection most times. However, some of these can persistent and can lead to cervix cancer if the cancer causing type is present.
Who needs cervical cancer vaccine?
The vaccine is just to prevent infection by cancer- causing type of HPV. Once you are infected, it's of no use. The vaccine is therefore given before first sexual activity. Some countries give it to every child between 12 and 13 years free.
who should go for screening
Every woman that has had sexual exposure needs screening for cervical cancer. Although most people with cervical cancer are usually in their fifties, the pre-cancer lesion started over 10-15 years ago. The pre-cancer lesions develop in most people before the age of 40.
How often should one go for screening?
This is dependent on the results of your screening. Your doctor might give you a short appointment or even send you for further evaluation (colposcopy) if your result looks abnormal. However, if everything is normal, you need to repeat the screening every 3 to 5 years.
Is cervical cancer curable
No! It is not. BUT THE PRE-CANCER STAGE IS CURABLE. It takes over ten years for the premalignant lesion to turn to cancer. You can detect this lesions through screening and get cured. But once it has progressed to a cancer, the rest is story.
Cervical cancer is deadly, it's common and it has sent many to grave. Please endeavors to get a cervical cancer screening every 3 to 5 years.
Keep living healthy! Keep living wealthy!!
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