Cervical Cancer - Why You Must Get It Screened?
Are you aware of cervical cancer, which develops in the cervix of a woman? The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina, and unusual vaginal bleeding accounts for being the primary symptom of this condition. Although abnormal vaginal bleeding may indicate several other conditions, you should get diagnosed for cervical cancer.
The various symptoms of cervical cancer are as follows:
- Abnormal and unusual bleeding from the vagina between periods, after having sex, and after menopause in women
- Pain in the pelvis or lower abdomen
- Pain while having sex
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Over several years, cells lining the cervix go through various changes. In some rare cases, these cells, which are precancerous, may turn out to be cancerous. These cell changes in the cervix can be detected early, and proper treatment is capable of reducing the development of cervical cancer.
- A screening for cervical cancer should be carried out for diagnosing this condition. Cervical screening, or smear test involves the study of sample cells taken from the cervix. The sample cells are observed under a microscope for detecting cervical cancer or other abnormalities. An abnormal cervical screening does not always indicate cervical cancer, as abnormal results can occur because of an infection or because of the presence of precancerous cells that are treatable.
- Screening should be undertaken by women of all ages. It is recommended for women between the ages of 25 to 49 to undergo this cervical cancer screening once in every three years. For women between the age of 50 to 64, screening should be carried out once in five years. For women above the age of 65, screening is recommended for the ones who did not have a screening since the age of 50 and for the ones who had abnormal test results in the past.
- Cervical cancer can be successfully treated by a surgical procedure, if it is diagnosed at an initial stage. In some cases, the womb can be left in place, while it may be removed in some other cases. The surgical procedure used for removing the womb is known as hysterectomy.
- Radiotherapy is an alternative surgical procedure that is undertaken by women with cervical cancer, at an early stage. In more serious cases, a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy is used for the treatment of cervical cancer. Although quite effective, some treatment procedures for cervical cancer are associated with side effects such as infertility and early menopause.
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