The American Cancer Society estimates that about 12,900 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed and about 4,100 women will die from this disease in 2015. These estimations are shocking but true.
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). Women of all ages are at risk of developing this cancer after they begin having sexual intercourse.
Risk factors include unsafe sex, multiple sex partners, being overweight, use of oral contraceptives, genetics, smoking, poor immunity, multiple pregnancies and first pregnancy at a young age.
One of the scariest things about this cancer is that it does not show any symptoms in its early stages. After the disease has spread to the bladder, liver, intestines or lungs, the symptoms are more prominent.
Being an adult woman, if you notice any unusual changes or symptoms affecting your reproductive organs, consult your doctor.
Always bear in mind that your chances of successfully treating cervical cancer are higher if it is detected during the early stages. With the use of Pap tests and the HPV vaccination, it’s become possible to treat as well as prevent cervical cancer.
With knowledge of the risk factors and warning signs of cervical cancer, you can save yourself and others from a lifetime of suffering.
1. Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Most women diagnosed with cervical cancer experience irregular bleeding.
An untimely bout of vaginal bleeding that occurs regularly could be an indicator of cervical cancer. It could also be due to other medical conditions, such as a hormonal imbalance, pelvic inflammatory disease or an infection in the pelvic organs.
As cancer spreads to nearby tissues, it creates new, abnormal capillaries that break easily and cause bleeding. Such bleeding may happen between menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse, after menopause and even after a pelvic exam.
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