Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cervical cells grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that has the aperture in the vagina and forms a lower third of the uterus. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated if detected in early stage. In early stage it can be detected by a regular annual PAPA test.
Causes of changes in cervix cells
Most of the cervical cancers are caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Human Papillomavirus is sexually transmitted by a person who is already infected. There are several types of HPV viruses and they are divided according to the frequency of causing malignant changes to highly malignant and non-malignant types. Some types cause condyloma, while some do not cause any symptoms.
You can have Human Papillomavirus for years, without even knowing it. The virus can remain in your body in latent form and only after years of staying in the body lead to the development of cervical cancer. It is therefore important that you regularly do PAPA tests. The PAPA test can identify changes in the cervix before they turn into cancer. If you treat these changes with adequate therapy, known as “wounds” of the cervix, you can prevent cervical cancer.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
Abnormal cervical cells rarely cause symptoms. However, you can have symptoms if abnormal cells lead to a change in the quality and appearance of the cervical tissue.
Vaginal bleeding that is unusual or changes in your menstrual cycle that you cannot explain,
Bleeding when the cervix gets in contact with something, such as contact during sexual intercourse or when you are putting diaphragm,
Pain during sexual intercourse,
Bloody vaginal discharge,
Changes in vaginal portion of cervix visible under speculum.
PAPA test is the best way to detect changes in cervical cells that can lead to cancer, and this test almost always, if done once a year, shows changes before they turn into cancer. It is important that you follow all the instructions given to you by a gynecologist, if a change in the cervix is detected in purpose to prevent cancer.
A Human Papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer is transmitted sexually. The best way to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection is to practice safe sex, using a condom or mechanical barrier method of contraception.