Friday, 9 December 2016
Cervical cancer starts in the cells lining the cervix. This is sometimes called the . The 2 main types of cells covering the cervix are cells (on the exocervix)and cells (on the endocervix). These 2 cell types meet at a place called the. The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina. The part of the cervix closest to the body of the uterus is called the If detected early, cervical cancer has a very high cure rate. Vaccination against HPVs, which are known to cause cervical cancer, is an effective preventive measure. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by longstanding infection with one of the HPVs. HPV infection is very common, and most people with HPV infection do not develop cancer.
However, there are some risk factors which are known to increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. These risk factors include:
§ HPV (human papillomavirus): a sexually transmitted virus. There are over 100 different types of HPVs, at least 13 of which can cause cervical cancer. There are over 100 types of HPVs, and only certain types have been linked to cancers. Other HPV types cause benign warts on the skin or genitals.
§ Many sexual partners or becoming sexually active early: Women who have had many sexual partners generally have a higher risk of becoming infected with HPV, which raises their risk of developing cervical cancer.
§ Smoking: increases the risk of developing many cancers, including cervical cancer.
§ Weakened immune system: such as those with HIV/AIDS, or transplant recipients taking immunosuppressive medications.
§ Long-term mental stress: Women who experience high levels of stress over a sustained period may be less able to fight off HPV.
§ Several pregnancies: Women who have had at least three children in separate pregnancies are more likely to develop cervical cancer compared with women who never had children.
§ Giving birth at a very young age: Women who gave birth before the age of 17 are significantly more likely to develop cervical cancer compared with women who had their first baby when they were aged 25 or over.
§ Contraceptive pill: Long-term use of some common contraceptive pills slightly raises a woman's risk.
§ Socio-economic status: Studies in several countries have revealed that women in deprived areas have significantly higher rates of cervical cancer.
§ Other sexually transmitted diseases (STD): Women who become infected with chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.