Cervical cancer is the malignant tumor as a result of abnormal development of the cervix which is the mouthpiece of uterus that is one of the female reproductive organs. This body is the the expansion part of the uterus into the vagina, and indeed, although it’S a part of the uterus, since the structure and characteristics are different, it is evaluated as a different body from the uterus.
some cases which develop as the premise disease of the cancer before cervical cancer develops in women, -CIN- are examined together in this chapter due to the possibility of occurrence of cancer. The premise disease group of Cervical Cancer known by the acronym CIN, is a disease with easier treatment, higher chance of success and inexpensive comparing to the cancer itself.
If this precancerous condition perpetuates its development and becomes a cancer without being identified in the patient, then the treatment of this cancer type is difficult in terms of its surgery, requirement of radiotherapy and complications with a relatively low success rate and it’s an expensive treatment that requires trained staff. For this reason, naturally the purpose of medicine is to detect, manage the treatment and follow up the possibility of this cancer in women before they become cancer yet during the onset of cancer.
Being easily reached by vaginal examination without pain, cervix is a suitable organ for direct observation and sampling and obtaining simple swabs from this organ with regular intervals is a significant and sufficient method in terms of preventing cancer and the name of this method is Pap-Smear. Although Pap Smear check ups, which are the most important methods proposed and implemented for prevention of cervical cancer for many years, are still very important and remains a priority, groundbreaking new information and methods other than Pap-Smear are also available as a result of the medical advances we experience.
What needs to be known In order to understand this information and developments is the fact that we have detected the cause of cervical cancer. Definite detection of this cause and identification of how it leads precancerous disease and to cancer through this way, is accepted as one of the most medical advances of the last 20 years and the pioneer scientist Prof. Dr. Zur Hausen made history by gaining Nobel medicine prize.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Which is one of the many viruses that cause disease in humans has subtypes more than 100 and up to 40 of them cause sexual disease in male and females. While some of the genital region types of these cause warts, approximately 15 types lead the cervical cells become abnormal and turn into cervical cancer. This transformation process takes 10 to 15 years.
Genital HPV is usually spread by sexual intercourse and not only by sexual intercourse, it can be easily transmitted through skin contact from person to person, too. HPV is so common, that most adults are caught with HPV at some time in their lives. However, since HPV is usually short-lived and rarely cause evident symptoms, most people banishes her without being aware of having HPV.
Unfortunately there is no treatment for high-risk HPV, but fortunately most of these infections vanish spontaneously with the abnormal cells they cause. However, infections which are not destroyed by regressing, carry the risk of developing cervical cancer.
Risk factors for Cervical Cancer
Risk factors are the any of the agents that increase the likelihood of developing a disease. In addition to genetic and environmental factors, risk factors may include specific individual smoking habits such as smoking which is a well known risk factor for many cancers.
Here it is important to keep in mind that having a risk factor doesn’t mean that you’ll be caught by the disease. It just means that your probability of disease is higher comparing to someone who does not have the same risk factors when everything else is equal.
HPV is the primary risk factor of cervical cancer and it doesn’t develop in women who are not caught to HPV. However any immunosuppressive condition may increase the risk of cervical cancer in women and since immune impairment enable the development of infection, it also enables it to transform cancer. Generally other risk factors need to be mentioned are any social, medical or environmental factors that facilitates the infection of HPV, polygamist life style or having a polygamist partner is also one of these factors.
Cervical cancer takes years to develop. This process begins with the development of abnormal cervical cells; due to caught HPV infection, if HPV infection does not heal spontaneously, it passes a number of stages over time and finally they turn into cancer. This process takes about 10 to 15 years.
Abnormal cervical cells do not cause any obvious symptoms, there is no pain, no bleeding, there are no symptoms indicating that something went wrong. Only regular cervical screening i can be helpful in detection of these in early stages when these abnormal cells can be removed easily and highly successfully.
After cervical cancer develops, it may show the following symptoms:
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
- unusual vaginal discharge
- pain in the genital area
These symptoms can be seen in cervical carcinoma, but other conditions may cause then, too.