Invasive Cervical Cancer
Most women have heard of cervical cancer. It is one of the reasons you are pressured so much to see your doctor once a year and have a pap smear done. Cervical cancer is a very serious disease that all women should be aware of and take measures to prevent. It is the second leading form of cancer found in women today. However, if you have a routine exam yearly then it greatly reduces the risk of you having this disease. It helps to reduce the risk by allowing your doctor to find and treat the cancer before it has time to spread and turn into invasive cancer. So what causes cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is when cancer cells develop in the lining of a woman's cervix. The cervix is the lower part of womb or uterus. African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic are in the high risk category for this disease. It is also very common in middle age women and older. It does take time for cervical cancer to develop which is why early screening is important. When cancer develops normal cells begin to deform and change into cancer cells. They go through a process when the cells are in a precancerous stage and if not treated it changes into cancer. Flat but scaly surface cells line the cervix and this is the most common place that invasive cervical cancer develops.
Although the cause of cervical cancer is not known there are certain factors that increase the risk of developing this form of cancer. The sexually transmitted disease called human papillomavirus or HPV for short is highly associated with invasive cervical cancer. Other factors that increase your chances of developing cervical cancer include a history of sexual transmitted diseases, having multiple partners and having sex when very young. Women who smoke double their risk of developing cervical cancer. It is very important for a woman to have regular routine examinations to help find this condition early so they can receive treatment and prevent invasive cervical cancer from developing.
When cervical cancer first begins to develop their will be no warning signs to look for. The healthy cells in the cervix start to change into abnormal cells, which then turn into precancerous cells. Since this is a gradual transformation that happens over a period of time you will not even notice the change unless you have a regular routine exam that reveals the abnormalities. Over time these precancerous cells will change into cancer if not treated. Once cancer has developed you may experience pain in your lower back, pain when urinating and pain during sex. You may also see a yellow discharge that has a noticeable smell and vaginal bleeding. It is not a good idea to wait for signs of cervical cancer before trying to see a doctor as early detection is the key to being treated successfully.