Cervical Cancer Awaraness

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Cancer occurs when cells in an area of the body grow abnormally. Cervical cancer is a cancer that begins in the cervix, the part of the uterus or womb that opens into the vagina. It is the part of the uterus that dilates and opens fully to allow a baby to pass into the birth canal. The normal cervix has two main types of cells: squamous (or flat) cells, which protect the outside of the cervix, and glandular cells which are mostly inside the cervix, and produce the fluid and mucus commonly seen during ovulation. Cervical cancer is caused by abnormal changes in either of these cell types in the cervix, and is the only gynecologic cancer that can be prevented by regular screening and preventive vaccination.

Cervical precancers usually have no symptoms. That is why it is important to have a Pap test. A woman usually does not have any symptoms until the cells turn into cancer and invade the deepest parts of the cervix or other pelvic organs. 

These symptoms include:

 • Vaginal discharge

 • Abnormal vaginal bleeding

 • Vaginal odor

 • Pain 

These symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other health problems. It is important for a woman to see her doctor if she is having any of these symptoms.

When a woman experiences concerning symptoms, a pelvic exam, including a rectovaginal exam, and a general physical should be performed. If the exam is abnormal, the woman might be advised to undergo an HPV test, a colposcopy (observing the cervix through a magnifying scope), and a biopsy, depending on the results of the colposcopy. If cervical cancer is suspected or diagnosed, it is important to seek care first from a gynecologic oncologist (Cervical Cancer: Your Guide | 5) 

When cervical cancer is diagnosed, it is vital to determine if the cancer has spread. Your treatment team may do more tests to determine this. Additionally, specific procedures during surgery may be performed to determine the extent of disease. This process is called staging. Staging helps to determine the exact extent of your cancer and what treatment plan is best for you (8 | Foundation for Women’s Cancer).  

References: Cervical Cancer – Foundation for Women's Cancer 

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