DID YOU KNOW THAT?
- 530,000 women diagnosed per year1
- Worldwide, every 2 minutes a woman dies of cervical cancer1
- 266,000 deaths (data from GLOBOCAN 2012)
- In less developed regions, cervical cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.
WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER?
This is a cancer that affects the neck of the womb called the cervix, the major risk factor for its cause is HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS infection, which is a sexually transmitted virus.
Signs and symptoms
The early stages of cervical cancer may be completely free of symptoms.
Vagina bleeding contact bleeding (one most common form being bleeding after sexual intercourse), or (rarely) a vaginal mass may indicate the presence of malignancy.
Also, moderate pain during sexual intercourse and vaginal discharge are symptoms of cervical cancer. In advanced disease, metastases may be present in the abdomen, lungd, or elsewhere.
Symptoms of advanced cervical cancer may include: loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, pelvic pain, back pain, leg pain, swollen legs, heavy vaginal bleeding, bone fractures, and (rarely) leakage of urine or feces from the vagina. Bleeding after douching or after a pelvic exam is a common symptom of cervical cancer.
Who is at Risk?
- Sexually active women
- People on oral contraceptive drugs
- Multiple Pregnancies
Cervical cancer is preventatble to a large extent through proper tests and monitoring. These include:
- Pap smear test: Every 3-5 years with regular follow up can reduce the chances of getting the disease by 80%
- Barrier contraception: This includes use of condoms which provides some protection against the disease.
- Vaccination: There si a vaccine which helps prevent contracting Human papilloma virus, the vaccines are between 92% and 100% effective against HPV 16 and 18 up to at least 8 years.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE, GET TESTED, GET VACCINATED, STAY SAFE!!