Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, second only to breast cancer.
What exactly is Cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that affects the uterine cervix. In layman’s language, it is cancer of the womb’s exterior.
How does it happen?
Cervical cancer is caused by infection with the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) virus family. While the majority of these infections are harmless, a few cause genital warts and cancer.
How is this virus spread?
The HPV virus is spread through sexual contact.
What are the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer?
Unfortunately, symptoms appear late in the disease’s progression, and cancer is usually detected at an advanced stage. Among the symptoms are:
- Irregular and heavy bleeding
- Bleeding following intercourse
- Excruciating intercourse
- Bleeding between periods or after menopause
- Pelvic pain during examination
Is it possible to cure cervical cancer?
Yes. Cervical cancer can be cured if detected at an early stage. The Pap smear test is the only way to detect cervical cancer at an early stage.
What exactly is a Pap smear test?
A Pap smear test is a procedure in which cells from the cervix are placed on a slide and examined under a microscope for cancer cells. It is a non-invasive procedure that is completely safe and painless.
What are the various kinds of Pap smear tests?
There are two kinds of Pap smear tests: traditional and liquid-based cytology. When compared to traditional pap tests, liquid-based tests have a higher detection rate and a lower repeat rate.
What steps can be taken to avoid cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer can be prevented by performing a pap smear, which detects it before cancer develops, or by immunisation against HPV.