STATES CHRONICLE – January is the National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. This type of cancer is one of the less severe gynecological cancer, being easy to prevent if regular screening tests would be performed. One of the most significant screening tools which can prevent cervical cancer is the Pap test. Due to this revolutionary method, over the last thirty years, the number of cervical cancer cases dropped by 50%.
This technology is bound to reveal the precancerous cells which can be then easily removed from the cervix. The test is usually done during a routine pelvic check-up. The cells are analyzed under the microscope after they are removed. Sometimes Pap test may have positive results even if there are no cancerous cells in your body. The abnormal results may be due to other causes which are usually analyzed and explained to you by your health care provider.
These screening tests help to reduce the overall medical costs besides preventing a dangerous disease. If cancer is discovered at an early stage, it can be treated more quickly. The American Cancer Society advises women to visit the health care provider for periodic check-ups beginning at the age of 21.
A Pap test should be performed every three years until the age of 65. When women reach the age of 30, they can add another type of test besides Pap test which can also help them prevent a severe illness. The Pap test may be undertaken in combination with an HPV test every five years.
Those women who present a high risk of developing cervical cancer may be advised to do screening tests more often than the rest. Cervical cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is usually contracted through sexual intercourse. Generally, this cervical cancer does not present any symptoms. Nevertheless, the more one avoids screening tests and lives with cancer without being aware of it, the more she is predisposed to having symptoms.
Among the symptoms specialists listed abnormal thick vaginal discharge, painful urination, unusual vaginal bleeding, painful intercourse, bleeding after a pelvic examination, intercourse or urination. If a woman experiences any of these symptoms, then she needs to contact her doctor immediately because the symptoms may grow to be more severe.
Factors which may boost the possibility of having this type of cancer are smoking and having AIDS. The HIV damages the immune system by abolishing significant cells responsible for fighting infections.
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