What is Cervical Cancer?
Did you know?
- Worldwide, every 2 minutes a woman dies of cervical cancer.
- 530,000 women diagnosed per year.
- 266,000 deaths (data from GLOBOCAN 2012).
- In less developed regions, it remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.
Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer
The early stages of this deadly 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 likely symptoms. In advanced disease, metastases may be present in the abdomen, lungs, or elsewhere.
Symptoms of advanced this 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
Prevention of cervical cancer
It is preventable 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 the use of condoms that provides some protection against the disease.
- Vaccination: There is a vaccine that helps prevent contracting Human papillomavirus, 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!