Cervical cancer is a malignant tumour found in the tissues of the cervix.
Cervical cancer usually develops slowly.
It occurs when cells in the cervix go through changes known as dysplasia, in which abnormal cells begin to appear in the cervical tissue, turn into cancer cells.
Over time, the abnormal cells may become cancer cells and start to grow and spread more deeply into the cervix and to surrounding areas.
Almost all cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV), an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact.
Cervix is located at the lower part of the uterus in the female reproductive system.
The cervix is usually 2 to 3 cm long and roughly cylindrical in shape that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina.
Cervical cancer symptoms do not usually appear unless had progressed to a fairly advanced stage.
Any of the following could be signs or symptoms of cancer:
Abnormal bleeding does not mean you have cervical cancer, but you should immediately make an appointment with your gynaecologist for further assessment.
A definitive diagnosis of cervical cancer is made by histopathological examination of cervical tissue.
Cervical cancer is highly curable when found early and treated soon after it is diagnosed.
If you've been diagnosed with cervical cancer, your doctor will talk with you about treatment options. Your treatment plan will depend your age, your overall health, and your personal preferences.
There are different types of treatment for patients with cervical cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses that are extremely common worldwide.
HPV vaccines are vaccines that to protect someone against infection by different HPV subtypes which are most commonly linked to various cancers and genital warts.
The Newest HPV vaccine is Gardasil 9. It protects against 9 subtypes of HPV (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58)
However, those who have received the vaccine are highly advised to continue with routine cancer screenings as recommended by their medical doctors.
Comprehensive cervical cancer control includes
Screening and treatment of pre-cancer lesions in women is a cost-effective way to prevent cervical cancer
If you are 30 years old or older, you may choose to get a Pap test.
Colposcopy might be ordered if the screening test positive.
Pap Smear is the most test to screen for cervical cancer.
Regular pap smear test is recommended for all women between the ages of 21 and 65 years old.
The best time to schedule your Pap test is at least 5 days after the end of your menstrual period.