Cervical Cancer: Causes & Symptoms
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Cervical Cancer: Causes & Symptoms

January is observed as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical Cancer: Causes & Symptoms

Cancers are undeniably one of the leading causes of death globally. Out of all other types of cancers, cervical cancer in India contributes to approximately 6–29% of all cancers in women. Cervical cancer can be difficult to detect because it does not show up with symptoms until it has reached the advanced stage. Although if it reflects the symptoms, women may think it is connected to her menstrual cycles, UTI's or yeast infections.

Every year, January is celebrated as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. In the year 2022, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) will highlight three different research projects. They are- Vaccination against high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), Treatment of Cervical Precancerous Lesions in a resource-constrained setting and improving coverage of cervical cancer screening programmes in at-risk populations. This will help demonstrate the impact IARC is having in tackling the global burden of cervical cancer.

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer can develop in a woman's body when the cells of the cervix area become abnormal and multiply rapidly. The area between the uterus and vagina is known as the cervix. According to the National Cervical
Cancer Coalition, there is a particular type of virus known as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which causes 99% of cervical cancer cases. Cervical cancer can be life-threatening if they are undiagnosed or go

Research says the majority of cervical cancers are caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV). According to Healthline, women who were exposed to a medicine called Diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriage, when
their mothers were pregnant can possibly have increased chances of having cervical cancer.

What is HPV?

HPV, Human Papilloma Virus is a sexually transmitted disease. You can get it from oral, anal or vaginal sex. In most cases, HPV is  associated with genital warts and cervical cancer. There is a total of 200 types of
HPV and not all of them cause cervical cancer. Different types of HPV can also causes vaginal cancer, anal cancer, vulvar cancer, cancer that develops in the throat- oropharyngeal cancer.

What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?

Here are some of the symptoms of cervical cancer:

  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic pain
  • Abnormal bleeding. This type of bleeding can happen during the menstrual cycles, during the pelvic examination, after menopause and after sex.
  • Unusual discharge, that can be different colours, smells or consistency.

If you come across any of these symptoms, do not ignore them and immediately contact your gynaecologist and talk about cervical cancer screening, although every woman should consider cervical cancer screening once a year.