Cervical Cancer – Everything you Need to Know About it

Cervical cancer is caused by the unchecked growth of abnormal cells in the cervix lining. The cervix, a part of the female reproductive system that produces the path from the womb to the vagina, is located in the lower part of the womb. Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and is a significant public health issue.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections mostly cause cervical cancer. The HPV virus family is fairly common throughout the world. At least 14 of the more than 100 distinct HPV variants are cancerous (also known as high-risk types).

Seventy percent of cervical cancers and pre-cancerous lesions are caused by two HPV types (16 and 18). Additionally, studies have connected HPV to cancers of the oropharynx, anus, vulva, vagina, and penis.

The sexually transmitted human papillomavirus is the primary factor in most cervical cancer (HPV) occurrences. In addition, the same virus brings on genital warts.

Cervical cancer is not a guarantee, even if you have an HPV cancer-causing strain. Most HPV infections are cleared up by your immune system, frequently within two years.

In men and women, HPV can lead to other cancers. Some of them are:

  • Vaginal Cancer In Women
  • Penile Cancer In Men
  • Throat Cancer In Men And Women

Cervical Cancer Symptoms

Early cervical cancer signs may be completely absent in a patient. Because of this, routine pap smear exams are even more important. A pap smear test is a screening strategy that not only aids in the diagnosis of the condition but also identifies any cell abnormalities that could indicate the beginning of cancer, allowing for the earlier initiation of therapy. The following signs would appear if you have cervical cancer:

  • Bleeding in between periods
  • More than usual bleeding throughout your periods
  • Discomfort during or after sexual interaction
  • Bleeding after having sex,
  • Foul genital odor
  • Pelvic ache or discomfort

Causes of Cervical Cancer

A cervix can cause Cervical Cancer which means men, women, trans, intersex, and non-binary people are prone to have the disease. Cervical cancer is caused by Sexually Transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that causes genital Warts. 

In a report, it was found that there are almost 100 different kinds of strains of HPV virus but not every strain is responsible for causing this disease in humans. There are only two types of strain that is responsible for causing Cervical Cancer and those are HPV-16 and HPV-18. 

Moreover, Cervical Cancer is of deadly disease but it can be cured if a person has a boosted immune system. If you are infected with this virus, your immune system has the potential to eliminate the virus within 2 years. 

Along with this, HPV Virus is also responsible for causes of virus in other men and women which include: 

  • vulvar cancer
  • vaginal cancer
  • penile cancer
  • anal cancer
  • rectal cancer
  • throat cancer

The main cause of Cervical cancer is a sexual transmission. So, you are likely to get the virus if you have one of these situations.

  • any skin-to-skin contact of the genital area
  • Anal, vaginal, or oral sex
  • sharing sex toys with others.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (Sil), the world’s biggest vaccine maker, speaks during an interview with Reuters in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo NEW DELHI, Sept 1 (Reuters) – The Serum Institute of India (SIl), the world’s biggest vaccine maker, has developed the country’s first cervical cancer shot that will hit the market soon, the company and the government said on Thursday. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, with an estimated 604,000 new cases and 342,000 deaths in 2020, according to the World Health Organization. About 90% of the new cases and deaths worldwide occurred in low- and middle-income countries that year.

Preventing Cervical Cancer

Taking all necessary precautions to avoid contracting HPV in the first place is the only approach to preventing cervical cancer. Ways for safeguarding yourself:

  • Improved hygiene
  • Avoiding multiple sex partners
  • Avoid smoking
  • Obtain regular Pap testing
  • Eat a diet rich in nutrients
  • Practice safe sex
  • Get vaccinated against HPV

What is Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical screening is the method of discovering or detecting abnormal tissue or cells in the cervix and eliminating them before cervical cancer develops. It is a useful strategy for lowering cancer incidence and mortality rates.

There are various screening procedures for cervical cancer, including Pap smears, liquid-based cytology, HPV DNA testing, and acetic acid visual inspection.

As per the global strategy taken into action by the World Health Organization to eliminate cervical cancer, it is recommended that 90% of girls should get fully vaccinated by the age of 15. In addition, women should get screened at least once by age 35 and twice by age 45.

Screening methods include routine Pap tests. Your doctor may perform both tests together. The Pap test is carried out as part of a routine pelvic examination when the doctor removes a few cells from your cervix to examine under a microscope. A Pap test only takes a few minutes. First, a few cells from your cervix are scraped off and put on a slide by your doctor. The slide is then submitted to a lab, where it will be inspected under a microscope to check for any abnormal cell changes that might indicate the development of cancer.

The Pap test, also known as a Pap smear, scans the cervix for precancers, which are cellular alterations that, if left untreated, could develop into cervical cancer.

A DNA-based HPV test is suggested as a first-choice screening tool in the recently released “WHO guideline for screening and treatment of cervical pre-cancer lesions for cervical cancer prevention.”

When should you take the HPV Vaccination?

The advisable time to get the HPV vaccination is around nine years and above, i.e., before starting any sexual activity.

  • It can be given to individuals as young as nine and can be recommended until 45 years.
  • The earlier, the better because the HPV vaccine does not work to cure an existing HPV infection.
  • It should be highlighted that people who have received an HPV vaccination are not excluded from using standard cervical screening methods.
  • Additionally, this vaccine lowers the chance of genital warts and other diseases like vulvar and vaginal cancer.

Conclusion

It is recommended to take all the measures outlined above to avoid contracting an HPV infection to protect yourself from cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers. Additionally, make cautious to verify the accuracy of any information you read regarding HPV before you believe it.

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