Chronic Diseases: Cervical Cancer
Every year about 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer, that’s 33 women a day. Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the tissues of the cervix. This type of cancer is a slow growing cancer and can be hard to diagnose because sometimes women do not have any symptoms. Even though women sometimes do not show or have symptoms of cervical cancer it can be found with a regular Pap test; women should have regular Pap tests done annually, starting at the earliest age of 21. A Pap test is a procedure where cells are scraped from the cervix and looked at through a microscope. Women who have unusual bleeding, post menopausal bleeding, bleeding after intercourse, unusual vaginal discharge, or pain during intercourse should all be examined and tested for cervical cancer because these are all symptoms of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is usually caused by human papillomavirus infection, also known as HPV. HPV does not always cause cervical cancer but is known to be one of the leading causes. There are two main types of cervical cancer: adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Adenocarcinomas makes up for 10 to 20 percent of cervical cancers, and squamous cell carcinomas makes up for 80 to 90 percent of cervical cancers. Each type of cervical cancer is distinguished by the look of cells, taken from abnormal Pap tests, under a microscope.
There are many risk factors of cervical cancer besides HPV. Pregnancy, family history, sexual history, smoking, oral contraceptive use, diethylstilbestrol, and a weakened immune system are all risk factors of cervical cancer. Teens under the age of 17 who have had a full term pregnancy, and women who have had three or more full term pregnancies are twice as likely to develop cervical cancer. Women that have a sister or mother that has had cervical cancer are also twice as likely to develop cervical cancer. Women...
References: National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/cervical
Cervical Cancer Types. (2013). Retrieved from http://ww2.cancercenter.com/cervical-cancer/types/
Cervical Cancer Risk Factors. (2013). Retrieved from http://ww2.cancercenter.com/cervical-cancer/risk-factors/
Cervical Cancer Symptoms. (2013). Retrieved from http://ww2.cancercenter.com/cervical-cancer/symptoms/
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