How Much Do You Know About Cervical Cancer?

How Much Do You Know About Cervical Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for cervical cancer in the United States, “about 14,100 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed and nearly 4,280 women will die from cervical cancer this year.”

What is Cervical Cancer?

True to its name, cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of a woman’s cervix. The cervix is the part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. When healthy cells of the cervix develop changes or mutations in their DNA, the cell can grow and multiply out of control instead of growing and dying at a set rate like normal cells. As result, these abnormal cells accumulate and form a mass or tumor. Unfortunately, cancer cells can break off the tumor and spread (metastasize) to other tissues and parts of the body.

Detecting Cervical Cancer

The early stages of cervical cancer are often asymptomatic and undetectable without a pap smear. However, more advanced stages of cervical cancer can include the following warning signs:

• Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods or after menopause

• Watery, bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy and have a foul odor

• Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse

Lowering Your Risk

To lessen your chances of getting cervical cancer, you’ll need to understand what causes these cancerous cells to develop on the cervix in the first place. Unfortunately, the exact cause is still unknown. However, we do know that the following have been proven to be contributing factors to this type of female cancer:

How Can You Know for Sure?

At North Pointe OB/GYN, we always urge our female patients to get routine pap tests. This is a quick, painless, and highly effective way to detect cervical cancer. In fact, this test can even detect precancerous conditions of the cervix, so that we can monitor things more closely going forward. How long has it been since you had a Pap Smear or Pap Test? Call our Cumming office today. We promise a knowledgeable, thorough, and gentle approach to women’s health care.

 

 

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