Commonly Asked Questions About Cervical Cancer. Top 10 Questions Answered
Cervical cancer is a commonly occurring gynecological cancer that begins on the surface of the cervix cells. It occurs when the cervix cells start to change into precancerous cells. However, not all precancerous cells will convert into cancer.
Being diagnosed with cervical cancer takes a significant toll on the mind. Various thoughts and questions go around in the head. Here’s a list of the commonly asked cervical cancer questions and answers.
1. Where is the cervix, and what is it?
The cervix is situated at the lowermost portion of the uterus and is a cylindrical passage connecting the vagina and the uterus.
2. How does the cervix function?
The functions of the cervix include:
- Production of cervical mucus during menstruation,
- Helping the sperm travel into the uterus from the vagina,
- Permitting the passage of the baby during birth by opening up the birth canal,
- Protecting the uterus from bacteria and other foreign material.
3. What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is gynecological cancer that happens in the cervix cells. Cancer is a condition characterized by the uncontrollable multiplication and division of cells.
4. I am infected with Human papillomavirus. Will I get Cervical cancer?
Being infected by HPV doesn’t always imply that you’ll end up with cervical cancer since the body’s immune system fights the infection and eliminates it within two years. Over 100 different types of the Human Papillomavirus exist, among which only a few are linked with cervical cancer. They are: HPV 16, HPV 18, HPV 31, HPV 33, HPV 45. However, out of all the mentioned types, only HPV 16 and HPV 18 strains cause the most cervical cancers. If you are infected with either of the two, then your risk of developing cervical cancer is more. However, the risk can be prevented with vaccination.
5. What are the risk factors that might increase my risk of developing cervical cancer?
Apart from HPV infection, the risk factors that might increase your risk of developing cervical cancer are:
Smoking, weakened immunity, long-term use of birth control pills, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), having multiple sexual partners, low socio-economic status, poor dietary choices, and family history of cervical cancer.
6. How can I prevent my risk of developing cervical cancer?
By getting vaccinated for HPV and getting regular screening tests done, you can prevent your risk of developing cervical cancer.
7. What are the symptoms of cervical cancers?
Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain, urine changes, pain while urinating, blood in urine, sudden loss of weight and appetite, fatigue, painful bowel movements, swelling in the legs and mild backache are the symptoms of cervical cancer.
8. How can I identify cervical cancer?
Identification of cervical cancer can be done using various tests like, Physical examination and medical history assessment, Pap test, Human papillomavirus (HPV) typing test, Colposcopy.
9. Is cervical cancer treatable?
When screened, treated, and managed effectively in its earlier stages, cervical cancer is one of the most treatable cancers. Even in its advanced stages, cervical cancer can be controlled with appropriate treatment and care.
10. What are the treatment options for cervical cancer?
Cervical cancers are treatable when detected early. The various treatments for cervical cancer are, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and targeted drug therapy.
Educate from these frequently asked questions about cervical cancer and raise awareness among your family and friends.