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Symptoms & Treatment

Why Cervical Cancer Screening Is A Must?

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Did you know?

Cervix is the lower part of the uterus connected to the vagina.

  • Every 8 minutes, a woman dies of cervical cancer in India.
  • Cancer of the cervix is the 3rd most common cancer in India.
  • India accounts for nearly 1/4th of cervical cancer cases in the world.
  • If detected in time, cervical cancer is easily and effectively manageable with a fairly good chance of prognosis of full recovery.
  • Cervical cancer is preventable, by vaccination against HPV (Human Papillomavirus) infection, which is the most common cause of cervical cancer. 

Causes & Risk Factors

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common cause of cervical cancer.
  • Family history;
  • Being sexually active before the age of 16 years; or being sexually active a year after beginning menstruation;
  • Multiple sexual partners as well as multiple sexual partners of partner;
  • Smoking;
  • Taking birth control pills for a duration of over 5 years;
  • Sexually transmitted diseases;
  • Low immunity.

Symptoms

  • Painful intercourse;
  • Very heavy periods;
  • Bleeding between periods;
  • Bleeding after intercourse;
  • Bleeding after menopause;
  • Vaginal discharge;
  • Pain during urination;
  • Swelling in feet and legs;
  • Urinary tract infection;
  • Weight loss;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Pelvic pain;
  • Lower back pain;
  • Fatigue.

Screening

  • HPV test: A cell sample from the cervix is collected with a spatula and tested in a pathological laboratory.
  • Regular pelvic exam: The doctor conducts an external and internal physical examination of the female reproductive organs
  • PAP smear every 3 years for women over 21 years and above.

If the results show the presence of abnormal cells, then the doctor may advise further tests like

  • Biopsy;
  • Colposcopy.

Prevention

  • Practice safe sex;
  • Quit smoking;
  • Regular pelvic examination;
  • PAP every 3 years for women over 21 years and above;
  • HPV testing every 3 years (usually conducted along with a PAP smear).

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