Dr. Ashli Dykes
12 November 2012
Cervical cancer is a cancer that starts in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus, which opens at the top of the vagina. It occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it is found early. It is usually fount at a very early stage through a pap-test. Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the world. Routine pap-smears, in the United States, have narrowed down the disease, unlike other countries. This disease starts in the cells on the surface of the cervix. Of the two types of cells, on the surface of the cervix, squamous and columnar, the majority of cervical cancers form on the squamous cells. It is a slow developing disease. It starts out as dysplasia, a pre-cancerous condition. Normally a pap-smear can detect the pre-cancerous condition. If left undetected, over years, a pre-cancerous condition can turn into cervical cancer. In most circumstances, women who have routine pap-smears normally do not get cervical cancer (PubMed Health).
The most recent statistic numbers available are from the year 2008. There were 12,410 women in the United States diagnosed with cervical cancer. Out of all those women, 4,008 of them died from the disease. These incidents and death counts cover approximately 100% of the U.S. population in 2008.
The famous Greek physician, Hippocrates, was the first to write about cervical cancer in 400BCE; although, he could identify the disease, he declared it incurable. In the following twenty-five centuries, many women died from this disease. Dr. Hinselmann invented the colposcope in 1925. The colposcope allowed doctors to examine the cervix more closely, which allowed them to check for abnormalities. The closer examinations meant that some cancers were found in time for surgery to be successful. The pap-smear was named after Georgios Papanikolaou, who in 1928,...