Yoga & Fitness

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: 10 Early Warning Signs That Must Not Be Ignored

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Cervical cancer refers to an abnormal growth of cells at the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It is the fourth most common cancer in women with an estimated 6,04,000 new cases and 3,42,000 deaths in 2020. The major causes of cervical cancer are strains of the human papillomavirus, also called HPV, which is a common infection that spreads through sexual contact. The risk of developing cervical cancer can be reduced by regular screening and vaccination that protects against HPV infection. 

Early Warning Signs Of Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer

Though cervical cancer doesn’t show any significant symptoms till much later, if you see any of the following symptoms, visit a medical professional for further evaluation. According to Dr. Uma Dangi, Consultant Medical Oncology, Fortis Hospital, Muland, and Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, these are the symptoms to look for: 

  • Postcoital vaginal bleeding
  • Postmenopausal vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal bleeding in between menstrual cycle
  • Heavier bleeding during the menstrual cycle than usual
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge with blood staining
  • Swelling or edema in both legs
  • Generalised tiredness
  • Deep pelvic pain during intercourse
  • Dull lower backache
  • Blood while passing urine or a feeling of pain while passing urine

Risk Factors

Cervical cancer, a significant health concern for women, is closely linked to specific risk factors that can elevate the likelihood of developing this condition. Understanding these factors is crucial for preventive care and early detection.

Smoking Tobacco:

Smoking tobacco emerges as a prominent risk factor for cervical cancer. Individuals who smoke and contract HPV infections may experience prolonged infections that are less likely to resolve. Given that HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancers, the association between smoking and increased risk is a critical consideration.

Also Read:  Actress Dolly Sohi Undergoes 4th Chemo For Her Cervical Cancer: Here’s Why It Is Difficult to Eliminate It

Number of Sexual Partners:

The risk of cervical cancer is intricately tied to one’s sexual history. A higher number of sexual partners, coupled with the sexual history of those partners, increases the probability of encountering HPV. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a key player in cervical cancer, making monitoring sexual activity a crucial aspect of preventive healthcare.

Early Sexual Activity:

Engaging in sexual activity at an early age is identified as another risk factor for cervical cancer. Early initiation of sexual relations heightens the susceptibility to HPV infections, emphasizing the importance of age-appropriate sexual health education and awareness.

Other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs):

The presence of additional sexually transmitted infections (STIs) amplifies the risk of HPV infections, consequently elevating the chances of cervical cancer. STIs such as herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS contribute to the complex web of risk factors associated with cervical cancer.

Weakened Immune System:

Individuals with compromised immune systems due to underlying health conditions are at an increased risk of developing cervical cancer when infected with HPV. A weakened immune response may hinder the body’s ability to clear the virus, emphasizing the importance of maintaining overall immune health.

Understanding these risk factors empowers individuals to adopt proactive measures, such as vaccination, regular screenings, and lifestyle adjustments, to mitigate the risk of cervical cancer. Regular medical check-ups and a focus on overall well-being play a pivotal role in early detection and effective management of cervical cancer risks.

 


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