Cervical Cancer: The Best Form of Prevention Is To Be Informed And Aware

Cervical Cancer: The Best Form of Prevention Is To Be Informed And Aware

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Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women and the leading cause of death among women in underdeveloped countries. In fact, 500,000 cases are diagnosed each year worldwide. This particular cancer is found mainly in middle-aged to older women; it is very rare to find it in women age fifteen and younger. The average age of women with cervical cancer is age 50-55; however, the cancer begins to appear in women in their twenties (2). It is also found in women of lower-class areas, as they are not able to see a gynecologist to be screened. African American, Hispanic, and Native American women are more prone to developing cervical cancer as well (1).

The cervix is an organ in the female reproductive system; it is the entrance to the uterus. Cancer of the cervix develops in the lining of the cervix. The normal cells go through abnormal changes and become precancerous cells. These changes are called Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN). CIN is categorized as low grade and high grade. It progresses to one of two conditions: (a) Squamos Intraepithelial Lesion (SIL) which leads to invasive cervical cancer, or (b) Carcinoma in Situ which is non-invasive, or localized, cervical cancer (1).

The causes of cervical cancer are unknown. However, scientists believe that there is a link between two kinds of Human Papallomavirus (HPV) and the cancer. HPV is a group of 100 different viruses. Some types of HPV cause warts and are considered "low-risk" when discussing causes of cervical cancer. However, other types of HPV cause precancerous conditions, resulting in different types of genital cancers, and is therefore considered "high-risk" (1). HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and it is extremely contagious. Recent resear...


... middle of paper ...


...t like everyone else.

Here is the unsettling part: Had I skipped that Pap smear during my sophomore year, I would have had invasive cervical cancer within a year and would have had to undergo chemotherapy. So once again, and I cannot stress this enough, the best form of prevention of cervical cancer is to be informed and aware. If you are a woman age 18 or older, whether you are sexually active or not, go see a gynecologist.


References

1)Oncology Channel
http://www.oncologychannel.com/cervicalcancer/

2)American Cancer Society: Do We Know What Causes Cervical Cancer?
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_2x_do_we_know_what_causes_cervical_cancer_8.asp?sitearea=ped

3)BestDoctor.com: Pap Smears
http://www.bestdoctors.com/en/askadoctor/b/buchi/wbuchi_100300_q3.htm

4)Cervical Dysplasia Causes
http://cervical-dysplasia-causes.com/

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