Ways to know when you have cervical cancer
There is only one way to know if you have cervical cancer and that is to have a pap smear check regularly. you can as well meet your medical doctor for checkup due to the fact that early cancer or pre-cancer stage normally comes with little or no sysptoms. but still whenever you notice any changes or symptoms no matter how little the sign is try to see a doctor.
like we all know cervical cancer has been a treat to many young women both young and old but the worst part is how they can know if they have developed cervical cancer. below this article, I listed some methods of which you can check to know if you have cancer of the cervix.
It is unfortunate that by the time cancer of the cervix is visible to the naked eye it is so far advanced that no matter what treatment is given; one woman in every five will be dead within 5years.
Development of cancer
Cancer develops in the cells which cover the cervix. This takes a quite long time. Before the cells become cancerous they undergo changes in their appearance. The ‘warning changes’ may indicate that cancer may develop unless treatment is given. They do not say that the woman has cancer. The warning changes can be detected by smears made from the cervix called Pap smears, because Dr. Papanicolaou, who worked in New York, first pointed out that early cancer cells of the cervix were less sticky than normal cells, and were shed (or exfoliated) more readily in the vagina. To take the specimen the doctor inserts a small instrument, called a speculum, into the vagina and looks at the cervix.
He then takes a ‘scraping’ from the cervix using a wooden spatula, similar to that used for depressing the tongue when he wants to look down the throat. He also takes a sample from the upper vagina, and from the canal of the cervix. The whole procedure is quite painless, and the doctor takes the opportunity to do a pelvic examination at the same time to be sure that there is nothing wrong with the uterus or the ovaries. The woman should make sure that her doctor phones or writes to her giving her the result of the tests even if only normal cells are found. This information is important to know as a normal result reassures the woman, and warning cells are an indication for further tests.
what are the cervical cancer causes and preventions
There is evidence that cancer of the cervix is related in some way to sexual intercourse. A likely cause has been recently been found. Many women who have ‘abnormal cells’, detected by the pap smears, have been found to have been infected by the human wart virus (HPV). HPV is the virus which causes genital warts. Although HPV is often sexually transmitted, it may also be present in women who had not been sexually active and in women and their husbands who had not have any other sexual partner. In some cases, the infection may have occurred years before it is detected. The risk of infection is greater among women who have had several sexual partners (or whose partner has or has had several sexual partners), is at greater risk of developing cervical cancer. Cancer may take some years to develop or occur rapidly.
It is becoming clear that many women and men are infected with the wart virus and only a few women develop cervical cancer, so something else must interact with the virus in women who develop cervical cancer. What that something is not known at present, although smoking is believed to be a factor.
THERE TWO WAYS OF REDUCING THE CHANCE OF DEVELOPING CERVICAL CANCER
Both should be considered to reinforce each other.
- The first is to limit your sexual partner to one only: If you have several sexual partners you may have been infected with the wart virus. The second way is if you don’t know about your partner’s sexual behavior, to insist he uses a condom until he has been cleared of having a genital wart infection. On the other hand, if you or your regular partner have diagnosed of having HPV, you do not need to use condoms as you will probably both have been infected.
- The second way is to have Pap smears at regular intervals: Two pap smears should be made in the first year after having sexual intercourse. If you or your partner have several sexual relationships, you should then have a pap smear taken each year. In other instances, a pap smear every three years is sufficient.
Any campaign to eliminate cervical cancer must include an attempt to get every woman in the area – especially the poor- to have a pelvic examination and cervical smears performed at regular intervals. The pap smears are looked with a microscope by a trained technician and ‘abnormal’ smears are checked by a qualified doctor. Of every one thousand smears examined, about twenty will show ‘abnormal’ cells, and 3 of these will be really worrying. If ‘abnormal’ cells are found, a further smear is done, and if this is ‘abnormal’ a specimen is taken from the cervix. This specimen may be taken with a tiny biopsy punch, after looking at the cervix with a special magnifying instrument called colposcope. If this instrument is used, the patient does not need an anesthetic, and the whole procedure can be done without admitting her to the hospital.
SURGICAL METHOD OF TREATMENT FOR CERVICAL CANCER
If the appearance of the cervix, viewed through the colposcope is abnormal or the biopsy shows pre-cancerous cells, The only method of treatment of stage 0 cervical cancer which has proven effective is to burn, freeze or vaporize the cells using a laser. The last method seems the most successful and least inconveniencing. After burning (cauterization) and freezing, the woman has a smelly vagina also known as vaginal odor, and this discharge may persist for up to 4 weeks.
In some cases, the colposcopic findings indicate a need for more extensive treatments. There is a need for the patient to be admitted to the hospital so that a larger piece of her cervix can be removed. It is like coring an apple and is called conization. The cervix is then stitched and then heals easily.
If the biopsy or the cone shows early cervical cancer growth, treatment is essential. Usually, if the patient wants to have more children, the cone is sufficient treatment, but if she has completed her family, a hysterectomy is performed. In either case, she will have to continue to attend her doctor after the operation at regular intervals, for further cervical smears. If the tissue shows more advanced cancer – the woman will have to have a much more extensive regimen of radiation therapy or surgery.
Only by regular pelvic examinations and cervical smears will cancer of the uterine cervix be eliminated. Every woman should, therefore, make sure that she has this simple, painless test done at regular intervals from the time of her first pregnancy or the age of 25, which is the earlier, to the age of 65 or later.
research more on www.cancer.ca/en
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