Cervical Cancer Facts . . .
- Cervical cancer is the most preventable type of cancer especially if it is diagnosed in its early stages (Smon, 2012).
- Pre-invasive cervical cancer does not produce any symptoms but is often detected during routine Papanicolaou test otherwise known as the pap test. The pap test screens for abnormal changes in cervical cells which may indicate the development of cervical cancer. Women are encouraged to schedule annual pap test after they begin engaging in vaginal intercourse or after they reach age twenty-one.
- Cervical cancer most often begins to manifest itself as pre-cancerous abnormalities that are present in the thin layer of cells called the epithelium. Cervical cancer progresses slowly and can take up to twenty years to develop (Smon, 2012).
- Pre-invasive cancer does not produce any symptoms which is why it is important to undergo annual pap tests to screen for abnormal epithelial cells. Once symptoms begin to manifest it is usually an indication that cervical cancer has surpassed its early stages.
- Symptoms of early invasive cervical cancer include vaginal bleeding, constant discharge, pain during intercourse and bleeding during and after intercourse (Copstead & Banasik, 2012).
- Once cervical cancer becomes invasive, it spreads directly through extension to the vaginal wall. Metastasis of invasive carcinoma of the cervix to the pelvic lymph node is most common (Copstead & Banasik, 2012).
- Allopathic treatment of cervical cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radical surgery including removal of all pelvic organs. Treatment depends greatly upon the stage of diagnosis. According to research there are no alternative modalities that will completely eradicate cervical cancer however there are preemptive strategies that can be used to lessen the chances of developing cervical cancer.
For further reading . . .
Copstead, L.-E. C., & Banasik, J. L. (2012). Pathophysiology. St. Louis: Elselvier.
Smon, H. (2012, December 20). Cervical Cancer. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center: umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/cervical-cancer