Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in women between 30 and 40 years, in which malignant cells in the tissues of the cervix are formed and may be caused by the Human Papilloma Virus that infects through sexual intercourse, which represents the main risk factor for this disease.
This cancer usually develops slowly; lesions on the cervix called "pre-invasive lesions" (not cancer), also popularly known as pre-cancer appear first. However, with the passage of time, they can be converted into a Cervical Cancer. This condition does not give symptoms that help diagnose it in time and can take up to 10 years to develop, so the importance of timely diagnosing it by the Papanicolaou exam (PAP test), which allows a more timely diagnosis and identify pre-cancer stages that are not as risky.
The PAP test prevents more deaths due to cervical cancer, it helps detect the condition when it is still absolutely benign, so you can avoid it becoming malignant. It is a very easy test to do, inexpensive, no discomfort. If the examination of PAP presents changes (in the precancerous stage), women should be evaluated with a biopsy.
It is recommended that women get the PAP from when they start their active sex life and repeat it once a year. If the results are normal they can get it performed once every 3 years. By performing this test, the probability of having the disease is very low. Therefore it is crucial for women to be aware of the importance of cervical cancer prevention with the help of the test.
When a woman has cervical cancer at an early stage, she experiences no symptoms. However, when the disease is more advanced, the main symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, pain during intercourse and difficulty urinating. It is important to emphasize that although women do not show the usual symptoms, they need to periodic inspections. Read more details on the symptoms at http://www.drjenniferashton.com/cervical-cancer-early-warning-signs-advanced-symptoms/.
Types of Cervical Cancer
According to the medical professionals, this disease can be divided into two groups according to their cytology (the study of tissue). One is squamous cell cancer (85% of cases) and the other is adenocarcinoma that occurs in less percentage of cases.
Treatment depends on the stage of the disease the doctor detects. When the cancer is in its early, treatment is surgical (Leep Cone), removing part of the cervix with a high probability of success of healing as well as the advantage of not impacting the ability to have children. At this stage the cancer is very curable in a large percentage of patients; hence the importance of regular gynecological checks.
However, when the cancer is in the invasive stage, treatment is a radical hysterectomy, and when has spread outside the cervix, the doctor will use Radiotherapy + Chemotherapy.