For women, cervical or cervix cancer can be deadly. While statistics about this cancer is frightening, cervical cancer can be prevented, and treated if caught early.
Cervical cancer is most commonly caused by HPV or the human papillomavirus, which is highly contagious.
This virus is an STI (s exually transmitted infection) and comes in many types but only some cause cervical cancer. An HPV infection might go away on its own or could cause abnormal cell growth that may lead to cervical cancer.
The signs for cervical cancer may not be as obvious or apparent as breast cancer but there are ways to observe the signs. Contact a gynecologist immediately if you notice:
When the cancer begins to grow inside the cervix, the cells of the uterine wall begin to rid, which produces a watery discharge.
According to gynecologist Rosa Maria Leme, “The appearance of small warts (externally or internally) serve as a red flag…diseases such as HPV, which can greatly increases the chances of cervical cancer in women.”
- Pain or bleeding
Cervical cancer grows on the walls of the cervix which can dry out and even crack, causing discomfort and bleeding. There may also be rectal or bladder bleeding. Any bleeding outside your menstrual period should be investigated.
The best-known risk factors for cervical cancer are
- Smoking or breathing in second-hand smoke
- Having multiple se xual partners
- Having unprotected se x
- Having low immunity
Because an STI is the most common cause of cervical cancer, it is good to be aware of the signs and symptoms of HPV. Additionally, preventative exams like a pap smear can help detect cervical cancer early on. Those preventive exams (like a pap smear) should be yearly