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Cervical Cancer Prevention August 26, 2009

Posted by feminestra in Cervical Cancer, Feminestra, Prevention.
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Cervical cancer is a disease in which there is an abnormal growth of cells in the cervix. The cervix is the region of the uterus that joins the vagina. Deaths associated with cervical cancer were previously quite common in women, but deaths have lessened greatly since the development of the Pap smear.

Causes and Symptoms

There are various causes of cervical cancer but the common causes are complexities associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. This infection is a sexually transmitted disease that hinders the ability of cervical cells to overcome tumors. The HPV infection can be reduced or prevented by avoiding sexual contact with individuals who have many sexual partners. Other risk factors include smoking, low socio-economic status, and infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Most cervical cancers can be diagnosed at an early stage by the Pap test. If it remains undetected, this cancer may cause vaginal bleeding or other discharge, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse.

Cervical Cancer After Menopause

Cervical cancer can appear at any age; however the symptoms often are non-existent for women who are going through menopause. This makes screening imperative for women who have gone through this life change. Some symptoms of menopausal cervical cancer are pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, and bleeding after intercourse. Cervical cancer can also have symptoms very similar to those of the peri-menopausal period of menopause. Therefore, women should get screened just as a precaution. The frequency of the screenings can be determined by a doctor based on your personal risk factors.


Cervical cancer can be prevented by avoiding factors involving risk and by getting Pap tests regularly. In 2006 a vaccine effective against four different types of HPV, was discovered and approved for use in females between ages 9 and 26. This vaccine was also effective against two strains that were responsible for most cases of cervical cancer. But it is effective only in people who are free from any previous infection with HPV. This vaccine uses a modified form of bacteria to produce a powerful immune response in the body. The vaccine gives 100% protection against infection from HPV types 16 and 18, which are responsible for around 70% of all cervical cancers. It also protects against HPV types 6 and 11 that cause genital warts. This vaccine is an important headway to protect the health of women. It eliminates the root cause of many cervical cancers. Scientists have made a remarkable achievement by developing this vaccine. It will lead to the discovery of other new vaccines. Moreover, it will facilitate the mission of working towards medical needs which have not been taken care of. This vaccination is given as three injections over a six-month period. Immunization is expected to prevent most cases of cervical cancer due to HPV types included in the vaccine. Females, however, are not protected if they have been infected with the HPV types prior to vaccination. Also, it does not protect against less common HPV types not included in the vaccine; therefore, regular Pap screening remains critically important to detect precancerous changes in the cervix to allow treatment before cervical cancer develops. The safety of the vaccine was evaluated in about 11,000 individuals. Most adverse experiences in study participants who received this vaccine included mild or moderate local reactions, such as pain or tenderness at the site of injection. Some medical societies recommend an annual Pap test plus pelvic exam for all women once they have reached 18 years of age or become sexually active, whichever is earlier. At the advice of a physician, the frequency of Pap tests may be reduced if multiple tests prove negative.




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