Cervical CancerCervical cancer occurs when cells on the cervix grow in an abnormal way. The human papillomavirus (HPV), the sexually transmitted disease which can cause genital warts, is a precursor to cancer of the cervix. Have regular Pap tests to check for this condition as it can be fatal. There are different treatment options available, however they can impact your ability to have children in the future.
When cervical cancer is detected at its earliest stage, the 5-year survival rate is more than 90 percent.
Symptoms of cervical cancer:
- abnormal bleeding, such as between periods or after intercourse
- foul smelling vaginal discharge
- discomfort during intercourse
Risk factors include:
- early onset of intercourse: women who begin having sex before age 20 are more vulernable to cell changes
- three or more sexual partners in one's lifetime: the greater the number of sexual partners, the greater the risk of acquiring HPV
- having a male sex partner who has had other partners: especially if a previous partner had cervical cancer
- history of genital warts
- immunosuppressive disorders such as HIV/AIDS
- failure to receive regular Pap test screening
- long term use of oral contraceptives