Women’s Health

Things to know about cervical cancer

The cervix is an important part of the female reproductive system as it connects the vagina to the uterus (womb). In appearance, it is a narrow 2-inches (approximately) long pipe-like part of the reproductive system. The cervix enables the menstrual flow from the uterus to the vagina; it also enables the sperms to enter the uterus through the vagina. The cervix also plays an important role during the final part of pregnancy. Although the opening of the cervix is narrow, with the changing hormones and pressure of the fetal head, it widens up to 4 inches at the time of labor, allowing the baby to make a safe exit from the mother’s womb.

Good health of a cervix is important, and the opposite can lead to several detrimental conditions like cervicitis, cervical polyps, and cysts, or cervical cancer. To ensure a healthy cervix and stay clear from such conditions, it is important to take necessary measures. Here are some ways women can ensure good health of their cervix, thereby preventing cervical cancer and other related conditions.

Pap smear test
Unlike most types of cancer, cervical cancer does not show any symptoms until it is in the final stage. This way, it becomes nearly impossible to save someone suffering from this type of cancer. Therefore, to avoid this, women can take Pap smear tests as and when recommended by their doctor. With the help of a Pap test, doctors can easily identify the early signs of cancer or cancer cells and treat them without any issues.

Regular visits to the doctor
Taking the doctor’s advice on frequent or timely check-up becomes a necessity when one wants to be safe from unwanted health conditions like cancer. It is, therefore, one of the more important preventive methods to get medically checked whenever asked by the doctor.

HPV vaccination
The cervix is vulnerable to infections that can weaken its immunity and make it prone to the human papillomavirus, which is known to cause cervical cancer. Along with cancer, it can also cause cervical dysplasia in women. Therefore, getting an HPV vaccination becomes important in order to prevent oneself from infections and cancer.

Practice safe sex
There are multiple reasons to practice safe sex, including avoiding unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Preventing cervical cancer is another reason people should consider practicing safe sex.

While the Pap smear test has helped bring down the number of cervical cancer cases, there still exist some symptoms that can be just as helpful in identifying the presence of early cancer as the Pap smear test. Here are some symptoms that, when identified, should be brought to one’s doctor’s notice immediately:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Abnormal or extremely heavy menstrual flow
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Back pain or leg pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Excess fatigue
  • Persistent nausea
  • Unexplained weight loss

In case one spots a majority of these symptoms together, it is important that they visit their gynecologist immediately. The earlier these symptoms are checked, the easier it becomes to cure cancer.