Cervical Cancer and the Warning Signs
Cervical cancer over the past 40 years has been a major death risk for many woman. However, with the invention of the pap smear and the warning signs of cervical cancer, rates are dropping. Many woman in the United States alone will be effected by cervical cancer, however, learning the warning signs can save a woman her life.
Learning the risks for cervical cancer will help to make all woman more aware of this form of cancer.
Those risk factors include:
• Human Papilloma Virus infection- Also known an HPV, this virus is spread through skin contact and is considered to be a major impact of cervical cancer. Detection can be utilized by having a pap smear or looking for warts.
• Food- Those woman that are overweight will face a higher risk of cervical cancer than those that are not overweight. If the diet is not full of fruits and vegetables, these woman will also face a higher risk.
• Birth control pills- Oral contraception pills often contain hormones that inhibit cancer growth. The longer a female uses them, the more of a risk they have. After 5 years of taking them, the risk doubles.
• Genetics- Cervical cancer can be passed down from generations. Those with a family history of it are three times as likely to develop it.
• HIV- The virus that causes HIV increases the risk for an HPV infection.
• Chlamydia infection- Those that have this type of infection will have a higher risk of cervical cancer.
• Smoking– Woman that smoke will double their risk of getting cervical cancer.
• Multiple pregnancies- Woman who have had 3 or more full term pregnancies have been determined to have a higher risk of cervical cancer, although no one knows why.
• First pregnancy at a young age- Woman who has their first child before the age of 17 are almost 2 times as likely to develop cervical cancer.
In the early stages of cervical cancer, the signs and symptoms may not show. Signs may not show until the cancer starts spreading to the tissues. Signs of cervical cancer will include:
• leg pain that is a sore sensation
• vaginal discharge that has increased, smells foul or has an irregular appearance
• bleeding that is unusual, such as after intercourse or between periods
• pain when urinating
• irregular urination
• irregular periods
• pelvic pain
• back pain
• intercourse that hurts or is painful
• unexplained weight loss
There are many things that you can do to prevent cervical cancer. These things include having a pap smear done on a regular basis, not smoking, having the HPV vaccine, and preventing STD by using protection.