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Preventive Measures For Cervical Cancer

Mar 28, 2017

Preventive Measures For Cervical Cancer

Cervix is the lower most part of the female reproductive organ called Uterus. A malignant tumor of the cervix is called cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society approximates nearly 12,820 new cases of invasive cervical cancer which will be diagnosed every year in the United States alone. Not all causes of cervical cancer are known. However there are many contributing factors like Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 which causes of 75% of cervical cancer globally, while types 31 and 45 causes another 10% of the cases. Signs & Symptoms o Vaginal bleeding or bleeding after sexual intercourse o A vaginal mass may be present in case of malignancy. o Moderate pain during sexual intercourse o Vaginal discharge o Symptoms in advanced cases may include: anorexia, weight loss, fatigue, pelvic pain, back pain, leg pain, swollen legs, bone fractures etc. o Bleeding after douching or after a pelvic exam Management A few treatment options for cervical cancer are chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hysterectomy, etc. Prevention Cervical cancer is a preventable disease. The most useful method of prevention is screening or checking the cervix by the Papanicolaou test, or Pap smear, Pap smear screening every 3 to 5 years with appropriate follow-up can reduce cervical cancer incidence up to 80 percent. Use of condoms and/or spermicidal gel use during sexual intercourse also decrease cervical cancer risk. 2 HPV vaccines (Gardasil and Cervarix) are known to reduce the risk of cervical cancer by about 93% and 62%, respectively. Latest Development In Treatment Of Cervical Cancer A team of scientists from University of South Carolina led by Carolyn Banister and Phillip Buckhaults has identified a new subtype of cervical cancer which like most cervical cancers, is caused by HPV but its growth is not directed by the virus. This suggests that if therapies can be targeted towards the genomic pathways of these cancers, outcomes may be improved. In another similar study, scientists from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have identified the genomic and molecular characteristics of cervical cancer which will help in sub classification of the disease and designing targeted therapies for the same. Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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