Understanding Cervical Cancer and Its Deadly Consequences

By Alfred Chai Wei Liang

Besides breast cancer, cervical cancer can be considered the next most prominent type of cancer. Most cancers are malignant, which means deadly. This particular one too, is malignant. Ever heard of pap smear tests? They have a lot to do with cervical cancer. But there is more on that later on.

Understanding the cancer is quite a quest. It is a kind of abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the cervix (near your hips area). The cervix is more accurately described as the lower portion of the uterus that connects the upper vagina to the uterus. 'Human papillomavirus' or 'HPV' is the virus responsible for this whole cervical issue. It is a common virus that infects about half of the population at some point of their lives. If the immune system does not clear up the infection, normal cells can begin to grow abnormally and turn into 'pre' cancerous lesions. This is how the cancer begins and works.

There are many causes and risk factors. 'HPV' can be sexually transmitted during intercourse. There are different strains of 'HPV' and some strains cause genital warts. While these genital warts do not lead to cervical cancer, other strains are considered "high risk" for cervical cancer by causing changes in the cells covering the cervix. However, it is worth nothing that not all women infected by 'HPV' will develop the cancer, as other factors will come into play such as smoking, medical illnesses that reduces immunity, early sexual activity in life (increases risk of sexually transmitted diseases), women who have multiple sex partners and lack of awareness of regular pap or cervical smart test. These other factors will cause cervical cancer too, not only 'HPV'.[source]


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