Cervical cancer begins in cells of the cervix’s surface.
It occurs when abnormal cells in the cervix turn into cancerous cells.
Normal > abnormal > pre-cancer > cancer
Almost all cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV), an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact.
It takes 5 – 20 years to develop into cervical cancer.
The main cause of cervical cancer is through the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Symptoms may include:
- Blood spots
- Menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding after menopause
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Persistent pelvis and / or back pain
If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately.
Cervical cancer is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 35 and 44. About 20% of cervical cancers are diagnosed in women over age 65. Know the risk factors that you can change to prevent it.
- Early onset of sexual activity
- HPV infection
- Multiple sex partners
- Multiple full-term pregnancies
- Oral contraceptive
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Weak immune system
Vaccination against high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types, which cause almost all cases of cervical cancer, is safe, efficacious, and critical in the fight against cervical cancer.
In addition to vaccination, pap smear and pelvic ultrasound screenings are important for cervical cancer early detection.
What’s the difference?
- Pap Smear
During a pap smear, a hinged object (speculum) is inserted into the vagina to allow the doctor to collect a sample of cervical cells.
- Pelvic Ultrasound
A pelvic ultrasound is non-invasive, and uses ultrasound waves for images of your cervix. There is no radiation exposure.