Understanding Cervical Cancer

April 18, 2007 by  
Filed under CANCER

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By Ingrid Tiessen

Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women worldwide. It is also one of the most preventable types of cancer.

Cervical cell changes are often caused by a sexually transmitted virus called the human papilloma virus or ‘HPV’. Most HPV infections will clear on their own once the immune system has dealt with it,and not lead to cervical cancer. Often, a woman infected with HPV will never know that she has been infected.

When a woman goes for her annual Pap test, the changes in the cervix are detected. A doctor is not usually alarmed by slight changes, as this can be caused by irritation or inflammation of the cervix, and will recommend retesting in 6 months. If, however, the changes do not revert back to normal, further testing is required to deal with possible precancerous tissue.

As long as regular testing is done, precancerous cells can be removed usually with no long term problems for the patient. Thankfully, truly invasive cervical cancer takes years to develop, but it is best to have it treated as soon as possible for peace of mind, and to avoid complications down the road.

Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms, as they may be a symptom of cervical changes or cancer:

• Vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse

• Pelvic pain

• Pain during sexual intercourse

• Unusual vaginal discharge

• Abnormal bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods

Do not be afraid to tell your doctor anything that concerns you. It is your body and you have a right to protect your health. They’ve heard it all before, please don’t feel embarrassed!

Ingrid Tiessen writes about health and lifestyle issues, and has undergone treatment for cervical dysplasia. To learn more, visit her blog, cervdysplasia.blogspot.com/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ingrid_Tiessen

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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