Cervical cancer is the condition where abnormal cells are growing on the cervix (the entrance to the womb from the vagina). Cervical cancer mainly affects women that are sexually active between the ages of 30-45. The majority of cases of cervical cancer are caused by the human papilloma virus, also known as HPV. There are hundreds of types of HPV, the majority of them harmless but 13 of these viruses can cause abnormal changes to the cervix and the cells. Other factors that contribute to the development of cervical cancer are, birth control pills (long term use can increase a woman’s chances of developing it), having many sexual partners (this increases the chances of catching the HPV virus), being sexually active from a young age, smoking, mental stress, childbirth at a young age (17 or under) and women who have had several pregnancies are more at risk than women who haven’t had any.
SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL CANCER
At the beginning, women may not experience any symptoms at all which is why it is vital to go for regular smear test. As it develops, women may start to experience abnormal bleeding between their periods, longer and heavier periods, bleeding during sexual intercourse or pain during it, pelvic pain, thick vaginal discharge and blood appearing in the discharge.