Cervical Cancer: Prevention and Vaccine

Cervical Cancer:

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Over 500,000 women worldwide died of cervical cancer.

Approximately every 47minutes a woman is diagnosed of cervical cancer

It is a malignant tumour deriving from cells of “Cervix Uteri” which is the lower part, the neck of the womb, the female reproductive orgnan. It beings in cells on surface of the cervix and overtime can invade deeply into the cervix and nearby tissues

These cells spread by breaking away from original tumor. These enter blood vessels or lymph vessesl which branch into all the tissues of the body.

Causes for cervical cancer:

  • Infection with common human pappilomavirus(HPV) is a cause of approximately 90% of all cervical cancers
  • About half of the sexually transmitted HPVs are associated with cervical cancer

A woman has higher risk of developing cervical cancer if:

  • She had multiple sexual partners
  • Began having sexual relations before the age of 18
  • Has partner who has had sexual contact with a woman  with cervical cancer

Risk factors for Cervical Cancer:

  • Smoking
  • Weekened Immune system
  • Several pregnancies
  • Giving birth at a very young age
  • Long term use of contraceptive pill
  • Family History

Signs and symptoms:

If you have any of the below symptoms, don’t delay and don’t hesitate to visit a doctor. Early detection of cancer can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment.

  • Bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse, douching
  • Menstrual periods that last longer and heavier than before
  • Bleeding after going through a menopause
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during sex

Diagnosis:

Routine screening can detect early stage cancer or precancerous conditons that could progress to invasive cancer

  • The process starts with a Pap test also known as Pap smear
  • HPV DNA test – Similar to Pap test which involves collecting cells from the cervix for lab testing
  • Pelvic ultra sound

Stages of Cervical Cancer:

Stage 1: Cancer is confined to the cervix

Stage 2: Cancer at this stage includes cervix and uterus, but hasn’t spread to the pelvic wall or the lower portion of vagina

Stage 3: Cancer at this stage has moved beyond cervix and uterus to the pelvic wall or lower portion of vagina

Stage 4: At this stage, cancer has spread to the nearby organs such as bladder or rectum or it has spread to other areas of body such as lungs, liver or bones

Treatment:

Chemotherapy –  It is use of chemicals to destroy cancer cells. As in most other cancers, this is used to target cancer cells that cannot be removed with surgery or to help patients with advanced cancer

Cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug is frequently used in combination with radiotherapy

Radotherapy – This works by damaging DNA inside tumor cells, destryoing their ability to reproduce. For patients with adavanced cervical cancer, radiation combined Cisplatin based chemotherapy is most effective

 

Diet:

Eating healthy food can avoid many diseases. Even the risk of getting cervical cancer can be reduced with the help of healthy food.

Flavonoids are chemical compounds in fruits and vegetables that are thought to be a leading source protection against cancer. Flavonoid rich foods are – Apples, Black beans, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Garlic, Onions, Soy, Spinach.

Folate reduce the risk of cervical cancer in people with HPV. Foods rich in folate are Avocados, breads, Lentlis, Orange juice, Starwberries

Carotenoids, a source of vitamin A are also helpful in preventing cervical cancer risk. Foods such as carrot, sweet potatoes and pumpkin are rich in vitamin A

 

Prevention:

Cervical cancer can be avoided if we can take some precautions.

  • Safe Sex
  • Cervical screening
  • Delay first sexual intercourse
  • Do not SMOKE

If every woman adheres to current HPV vaccination, the total number of female deaths from cervical cancer globally will drop by hundreds of thousands  each year.

Vaccination:

Of the more than 100 types of HPV, only 15 are known to cause cancer.

Immunization against high risk types (16 and 18) can reduce HPV infection  and the cancers that may result

“Gardasil” prevents infection by cancer causing HPV types 16 and 18. This vaccine also provides protection against HPV types 6 and 11 which are not known to cause cancer but do cause genital warts

“Cervaris”  prevents infection by cancer causing HPV types 16 and 18

Vaccine is given in series of 3 doses within 6 months. But do talk to your doctor as it is adviced based on the age group of the woman.

 

Categories: Health & Fitness

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