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Cervical Cancer

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Q: What is a Cervical Cancer?

The cervix is the lower and narrow end of the uterus; it connects the vagina (the birth canal) to the superior part of the uterus. The uncontrolled growth of cells in this region is termed as cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer can be treated when found early by doing a simple test and can be prevented with regular screening tests and follow up. It also is highly curable when begin and treated early.

Q: What causes cervical cancer?

It is caused by a virus called Human Papilloma virus or HPV. These are of various types, not all types of HPV can cause cervical cancer. Two strains of the HPV virus-HPV 16 and HPV 18 are known to be responsible for 70% of all cases of cervical cancer.
HPV infection is spread through sexual intercourse or skin-to-skin contact. It can be transferred to any individual who is sexually active, or if you or your partner have had sex with several others. However, any woman who has ever had sex is at risk for HPV.
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Q: What is the prevalence of cervical cancer in India?

  1. Every year in India, 122,844 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 67,477 die from the disease.
  2. It is the second most widespread cancer in women aged 15 to 44 years.
  3. Cancer registry Period

Q: Can it be prevented?

  1. Early detection is the key in increasing survival rates and so educating everyone on the disease, its symptoms and ways to prevent it is key.
  2. Early Vaccination is recommended to girls aged 11 to 12 years as it allows better immune system, before she's likely to expose with HPV.
  3. Safe sex practice like using condoms
  4. Minimum sexual partners.
  5. Regular Pap tests screening
  6. Timely vaccination against the cancer causing virus.
  7. Leading a well and healthy lifestyle
  8. Eating a balanced diet
  9. Avoiding smoking & alcoholism.

Q: Cervical cancer vaccination?

  1. Cervical cancer vaccine can prevent the chances of cancer, as it protects against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  2. It is good to receive the cervical cancer vaccine is 9 to 10 years old, as it allows a girl's immune system to be activated before she is likely to come across HPV through sexual contact.
  3. Any women has 80% chances to contract HPV throughout her lifetime, as condoms will not help in protecting against HPV.
  4. This vaccine blocks two types of HPV (types 16 and 18). Thus, it stops cervical cancer developing before it can even begin.
  5. Thee vaccination is completed in the course of 3 doses, the first injection at chosen date, the second injection is given at 1 month after the1st dose and the last injection at 6 months after the 1st dose has been administered.
  6. This Vaccination effective against 70% of cervical cancer that is caused by HPV type 16 and type 18.

Q: What are the symptoms and signs of cervical cancer?

  1. Any unusual vaginal bleeding may be after sexual intercourse, in between periods or after the menopause.
  2. Pelvic pain/ discomfort.
  3. Painful sex.
  4. Abnormal Vaginal discharge
  5. Weight loss

Q: Who are at risk?

  1. Sex at early age
  2. Sexually active women
  3. Smoking and alcoholism
  4. HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) or any other immune compromised condition
  5. Using birth control pills for a long time (five or more years).
  6. Having given birth to three or more children or multiple pregnancies.