Tuesday, August 9, 2016

MUST READ!!! Prevention and Risk Factors For Cervical Cancer

woman sufferng cervical cancer

Cervical cancer, caused by sexually-acquired infection continues to be a public health problem worldwide as it claims the lives of more than 270,000 women every year.

In developed countries, early diagnosis and treatment of precancerous lesions has led to a significant reduction in the burden of disease. Because of poor access to high quality screening and treatment services the majority of cervical cancer deaths (85%) occur in women living in low- and middle-income countries.

The difference in cervical cancer incidence between developing countries and developed countries is likely to become more pronounced when infection with common cervical cancer types are prevented by vaccinating a high proportion of adolescent girls.

Some risk factors for cervical cancer

1.  Human papilloma virus infection
The most important risk factor for cervical cancer is infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a group of more than 150 related viruses, some of which cause a type of growth called papillomas, which are more commonly known as warts. HPV can infect cells on the surface of the skin, and those lining the genitals, anus, mouth and throat, but not the blood or internal organs such as the heart or lungs.

Although scientists believe that it’s necessary to have had HPV for cervical cancer to develop, most women with this virus do not develop cancer. Doctors believe that other factors must come into play for cancer to develop. Some of these known factors are listed below.

2.  Smoking

Women who smoke are about twice as likely as non-smokers to get cervical cancer. Smoking exposes the body to many cancer-causing chemicals that affect organs other than the lungs. These harmful substances are absorbed through the lungs and carried in the bloodstream throughout the body. 

Tobacco by-products have been found in the cervical mucus of women who smoke. Researchers believe that these substances damage the DNA of cervix cells, and may contribute to the development of cervical cancer. Smoking also makes the immune system less effective in fighting HPV infections.

3.  Chlamydia infection

Chlamydia is a relatively common kind of bacteria that can infect the reproductive system. It’s spread by sexual contact. Chlamydia infection can cause pelvic inflammation, leading to infertility. Some studies have seen a higher risk of cervical cancer in women whose blood test results show signs of past or current chlamydia infection (compared with women with normal test results).

Women who are infected with chlamydia often have no symptoms. In fact, they may not know that they are infected at all unless they are tested for chlamydia during a pelvic exam.

4.  A diet low in fruits and vegetables

Women whose diets don’t include enough fruits and vegetables may be at increased risk for cervical cancer.

5.  Being overweight

Overweight women are more likely to develop adenocarcinoma of the cervix.

Few things to do to prevent Cervical Cancer

Avoid contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV) Since HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer and pre-cancer, avoiding exposure to HPV could help you prevent this disease. HPV is passed from one person to another during skin-to-skin contact with an infected area of the body

1.  Don’t smoke

Not smoking is another important way to reduce the risk of cervical pre-cancer and cancer.

2.  Get vaccinated

Vaccines are available that can protect against certain HPV infections. All of these vaccines protect against infection with HPV subtypes 16 and 18. Some can also protect against infections with other HPV subtypes, including some types that cause anal and genital warts.

These vaccines only work to prevent HPV infection − they will not treat an infection that is already there. That is why, to be most effective, the HPV vaccines should be given before a person becomes exposed to HPV

3.  Get screened

Screening tests offer the best chance to have cervical cancer found at an early stage when successful treatment is likely. Screening can also actually prevent most cervical cancers by finding abnormal cervix cell changes (pre-cancers) so that they can be treated before they have a chance to turn into a cervical cancer. If it’s detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.

Most cervical cancers are found in women who have never had a cervical cancer test or who have not had one recently. Women without health insurance and women who have recently immigrated are less likely to have timely cervical cancer screening. Cervical cancer deaths are higher in populations around the world where women do not have routine cervical cancer screening.

In fact, cervical cancer is the major cause of cancer deaths in women in many developing countries. These women are usually diagnosed with late stage cancers, rather than pre-cancers or early cancers.


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