The cervical cancer was a major cancer death risk for women over than 40 years ago. But these numbers decreased noticeable since the development of pap tests and in-depth identification of warning signs. More than thousands of American women are still diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, which means that we are never safe. Identification of risk factors and warning signs can save you from lifetime of suffering.
Cervical Cancer Risk Factors
When the woman is aware of the risk factors that are more likely to expand cervical cancer the woman will have better insight in her cancer risk.
- Human Papilloma Virus Infection (HPV)- There are many various viruses grouped here that are outspreaded though skin contact and assumed as a stimulators of cervical cancer. The HPV is usually detected through the revealing of warts or pap smears.
- Food Intake- women with extra weight and lack of essential nutrients from fruits and vegetables in their diet are having bigger risk of cervical cancer diagnosis.
- Birth Control Pills- the female hormones included in the oral contraceptives can ensure a perfect breeding ground for some cancers. If the woman is using the oral contraceptives for longer the risk of cancer is increased. The risk will also double after 5 years of regular usage.
- Genetics- There are contradictory references in relation to this problem. According to some references the cervical cancer can be passed down from generation to generation, which means that women with a genetic history of the cancer are facing 2-3 times bigger risk. Yet there are some references that are claiming that there is no such genetic component to this type of cancer.
- HIV- The virus that causes AIDS is able to damage the immune system and boost the risk of HPV infection.
- Chlamydia Infection-Women who experienced or are experiencing Chlamydia infection are facing higher risk of cervical cancer.
- Smoking- smokers have double bigger risk of cervical cancer. The tobacco-by products are having negative impact on the DNA of cervix cells, which is helpful for expansion of this cancer. The immune system is also affected by the smoking which affects on its ability to fight HPV infections. In order to be healthy you should stop smoking immediately!
- Multiple pregnancies- the women who have had 3 or more full-term pregnancies are facing a bigger risk of expanding cervical cancer. No one has the answer about this cause.
- First pregnancy at a young age- Women with no more than 17 years when they had the first full-term pregnancy are facing 2 times bigger risk for cervical cancer diagnosis later in their life than women whose first full-term pregnancy wasnt before their 25.
Warning Signs of Cervical Cancer
There is a frightening deficit of visual and physical symptoms to indicate the starting stages of cervical cancer. There are many symptoms that arent noticeable until the cancer has started an invading amplification to the surrounding tissue.
Here are the most usual symptoms of cervical cancer:
- Leg Pain
Some women are experiencing bloating and pain in the leg in the early stages of cervical cancer. If the cervix is bloated it will cause thwarted blood flow, which will lead to bloated leg and sore and painful feeling.
- Vaginal Discharge
Discharging small amounts of clear discharge without any color or scent is normal for every woman. But if the discharging is increased, smells bad, or has any kind of anomalous appearance, it can be a symptom for cervical cancer in the early stages.
- Unusual Bleeding
This is the most usual symptom. If inopportune bout of vaginal bleeding is occurring it can be a symptom of cervical cancer. If you are facing with continuous bleeding amidst the periods or following sexual intercourse, you should visit your physician. Especially if you are in postmenopausal and no longer have menstruations.
- Discomforting Urination
The urination can be an indicator for the presence of cervical cancer. One of the symptoms of cervical cancer is discomfort during urination. It is usually described as a withering and pricking feeling. When urinary symptoms are manifesting it is very possible that the cancer has expanded onto nearby tissue and requires momentous attention.
- Irregular Urination
The changing of the urine and urinary habits can be sign of cervical cancer. If you are experiencing frequent urine, loss of bladder control (incontinence) or blood in the urine, you should visit your physician as soon as possible.
- Irregular Menstrual Cycles
You should have some level of uniformity for your menstrual cycles. As the time passes the frequency, or any other factors are disrupting the regular routine, which can be related with cervical cancer. Take note of the medication you are taking and visit your physician if the irregular menstrual cycle continues.
- Uncomfortable Sex
Dyspareunia, or painful intercourse is one more uncomfortable symptom of cervical cancer. There are few reasons for this symptom to occur. You should pay attention if experiencing this symptom, because it is the most usual symptom for other conditions too.
- Pelvic Pain
The pelvic pain is present in every woman. The cramping and pains while having a menstrual cycle are normal, but if you feel pain for longer, it occurs more often, or becomes stronger than usually, it is a sign for visiting the doctor.
- Back Pain
The back pain is impacting almost 80% of the Americans and it can be caused by many different factors. Yet if it is combined with some of the symptoms from this list, you should pay attention for this problem.
- Unexplained Loss of Weight and Fatigue
They can be caused by many different factors, but if the other symptoms from the list are occurring too, you should visit your doctor. The cervical cancer decreases the levels of healthy red blood cells, which are displaced with white blood cells that are fighting with the disease. This condition will lead to anemia, which will cause the woman to feel fatigue and loss of energy, appetite and finally weight.
Prevention of Cervical Cancer
The cervical cancer is very hard to diagnose in the early stages, which makes the treatment very hard. Thats why the preventive is very important for every woman.
- Pap test Screening- pap smears are the most efficient way to test for cervical cancer. They need to be done often, depending from the womans age. According to WebMD the woman in the ages from 20 to 30 need to get screening in every 3 years, from 30-65 every 3-5 years and over 65 years have no need for screening if have good results on 3 tests in a row.
- HPV Vaccine- medical experts are recommending HPV vaccines for men and women before their twenties. They are stating that this vaccine is crucial in disabling the virus that causes cervical cancer. The female children can have their first vaccination at 9 years.
- No smoking- the smokers and the passive smokers are having bigger risk of cervical cancer development than the non smokers. Stop smoking if you are smoker and you will experience all the health benefits that will come with the quitting. You will get rid of many risks that you are facing while smoking.
- Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases- HPV can stay in a sexual partner with a illusory deficit of symptoms. Having knowledge about your sexual partners history is decreasing the risk of cervical cancer. The best way to protect your self is to use protection.