Cervical cancer is a cancer that begins in the cervix, the part of the uterus or womb that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer is caused by abnormal changes in the cells either covering the external surface of the cervix or lining of the endocervix. In India it is the most common cancer. Around 1,20,000 of the cervical cancer are diagnosed every year, over 70 percent of total gynaecological cancers.
DO YOU KNOW?
• Cervical cancer is preventable.
• Almost more than 80 percent.
Cervical cancer is caused by a persistent infection with the oncogenic human papillomavirus or HPV.
• Vaccination of women and young girls before they become sexually active can prevent cervical pre-cancer and cancer.
• Regular Pap test and HPV testing when recommended are equally important in screening and play important role in cervical cancer prevention and early detection.
• Cervical cancer usually affects women between the age of 30 to 55, but younger women also are at risk.
• Surgery can cure early cervical cancer.
• Fertility preserving surgery can be offered to selected young women in early cervical cancer.
CONSULT FOR THESE SYMPTOMS
• Bleeding after intercourse
• Excessive discharge and abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods
• Post-menopausal vaginal bleeding Note: Most women will have no symptoms in precancerous conditions and only screening can detect these.
ACT IN TIME
• Get vaccinated before you become sexually active.
• Don’t smoke! Smoking weakens the immune system and a weakened immune system can lead to persistent HPV infection.
• Get Pap test and HPV tests at the intervals recommended.
• Take a pledge to get an annual women’s health check done even if you do not have any symptoms.
• If your test results say you have cervical pre-cancer, suspicious cancer or diagnosed with cervical cancer, seek care from the gynecologic oncologist.