Know more about Cervical Cancer
Cancer is no more a nightmare, no more a situation out of hand, no more a threat to life when you are positive, surely well informed and under expert medical care “ says Dr. Anita Kant while answering some of the cancer related queries.
What is cancer of the cervix? What is the age group in which it is more prevalent?
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, which is the female reproductive organ that holds a baby during pregnancy. The cervix connects the uterus and the vagina. Any woman can get cervical cancer, Cancer cervix can happen after a woman becomes sexually active so we recommend checkups after a girl becomes sexually active.
Is there any way that we can diagnose the disease in early stages? Please also advice if there is any test or vaccine which can diagnose the disease?
Regular Pap tests are very important in detecting cervical cancer changes early, this is a only test which can diagnose your cancer 8-10 years before it actually happen. The best time for a woman to have a Pap test is 10 to 20 days after her period. doctor or nurse practitioner uses a tool called a speculum to hold the vagina open to see the upper part of the vagina and the cervix. Then the doctor uses a small brush to get some cells from the cervix and vagina & puts these cells on a glass slide or in a solution and sends it to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope to check for abnormal cells. Vaccine is recommended between the age of 15-45yrs, ideally it should be given before becoming sexually active but even if taken after that it is equally effective
Vaccines are given as a series of three injections over a six-month period. The second dose is given one to two months after the first dose, and the third dose is given six months after the first dose.
What are the signs and symptoms of Cervical Cancer and when do I need to see a specialist?
Any of the following could be signs or symptoms of cervical cancer:
- Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods
- Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual
- Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Bleeding after menopause
- Increased vaginal discharge
If these symptoms appear, it is important to talk with your doctor about them. The earlier precancerous cells or cancer is found and treated, the better the chance that the cancer can be prevented or cured.
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