UNDERSTANDING CERVICAL CANCER
What comes into your mind when you hear one talk of cervical cancer? Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grows out of control. There are various types of cancer named after the body part from which it starts. Cervical cancer starts from the cervix hence the name. The cervix is the lower narrow end of the uterus which connects the vagina to the upper part of the uterus. It is the opening to the womb. Cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma virus (HPV) which is passed from the males to the females during sexual intercourse making sexually active women to be at a higher risk of getting cervical cancer. In addition to HPV, there are other contributing factors that increases the risk of cervical cancer that is, excessive smoking of cigarettes, having HIV,using birth control pills over a long period of time.
At the initial stages, cervical cancer do not show any noticeable signs and symptoms making it difficult to detect. This call for the need of regular and timely screening done through a simple test to detect any changes in the cervix that can turn to be cancer. There are two types of tests that can be done to detect the change in the cervix that is: visual inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) also known as rapid vinegar test and the Pap smear test. VIA entails careful insertion of a speculum through the vagina, spraying the cervix with acetic acid and checking whether the cervix has a white spot which may be a sign of cervical cancer. In case the white spot is detected it is removed through freezing in a process called cryotherapy which is quick, painless and highly effective.
It takes many years for cancer to develop therefore it may not be helpful to screen women under the age of 25 while women above the age of 49 have lower chances of infection. HIV positive women should go for screening once every year while VIA negative women should go for screening after every five years. Women having cancer at advanced stages are referred to other health facilities for further management by the health practitioners. Cervical cancer is real, it makes children orphans, men widowers, parents lonely and the community to lag behind. The fight against cervical cancer starts now irregadless of sex or age, Make an effort of visiting KMET Corkran clinic for cervical cancer and treatment before it is too late because there is no remedy to time wasted. We must win this fight.