Cervical Cancer

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects with the vagina. Cervical cancer occurs when cells of the cervix grow unnaturally and unusually, and spread to other tissues and organs, mostly the lungs, liver, bladder, vagina, and rectum.

The second most common cancer for women is cervical cancer. In most cases, it occurs for women in ages between 45-55 years old. However, the virus contraction that causes this cancer may have started between 20-30 years old, which indicates the slow progression of this disease. This slow progression allows women to take the necessary measures and tests in order to discover the disease at an early stage when it is easier to overcome it.

You can find out more about the types of Cervical Cancer, causes, symptoms, and the preventive measures to take hereunder.

Types of Cervical Cancer

  1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This type of Cervical Cancer begins in the flat, thin cells, called squamous cells. These cells line the outer part of the cervix, which appear in the vagina. (Most Cervical cancer cases are Squamous Cell Carcinoma).
  2. Adenocarcinoma: This type begins in the columnar glandular cells that line the cervix canal. (This type is less common).

Causes of Cervical Cancer

  1. Many sexual partners, and unsafe sex.
  2. Other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), like gonorrhea, syphilis, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS). These diseases weaken the immune system and risk getting Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
  3. Taking birth control pills for a long time.
  4. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of most cervical cancer cases. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection. In most cases, the immune system fights off the virus. However, for a small group of women, it may stay for years. Causing some of the cells on the cervix to become cancerous.
  5. (Exercising, dieting, the psychological condition, sleeping).
  6. The surrounding environment; the infection rates differ from one country to another.
  7. Smoking.
  8. Sexual experiences at an early age (before 16).

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Note: Usually, no symptoms and signs appear in the early stages of Cervical Cancer.
  1. Unusual vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between menstrual cycles, or even after menopause.
  2. Unexplainable menstrual cycle changes are significant signs, and one must take a test to detect any cervical tumors.
  3. Pinkish vaginal discharges that contain water and blood and may have an unpleasant smell.
  4. Pain during sexual intercourse.
  5. Pelvic pain.
  6. Kidney failure for some advanced cases.

Preventive Measures

  1. Take Pap smears (Papanicolaou test) routinely. Most medical organizations recommend women to have Pap smears routinely starting from the age of 21, and repeat every few years.
  2. Safe sex. Use condoms, and avoid having several sexual partners.
  3. Delay sex until the woman matures, and her genitals become less fragile and sensitive.
  4. Refrain from smoking

Cervical Cancer Recovery Rates Depending on the Diagnosis Stage

  • First stage: 80% – 90%.
  • Second stage: 58% – 63%.
  • Third stage: 32% – 35%.
  • Forth stage: 15% – 16%.

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