Circumcision and cervical cancer

The bad news about cervical cancer is that it is one of the most common cancers affecting the female reproductive organs. But cheer up! It is a slow-growing cancer and 100 percent curable if caught early.

Cervical cancer usually affects women between the ages of 30 and 55. The National Cancer Institute said more than 11,000 cases are discovered each year.

Who gets cervical cancer? Naturally, any woman with a cervix is ​​prone to the disease, but there are certain risk factors to consider. Sexual promiscuity is one of them.

Women who start having sex before age 18 are more likely to get the disease. The cervix simply cannot withstand numerous thrusts on the penis from different men who can carry a variety of infections. These include the papilloma virus (which is responsible for warts), genital herpes, the organism chlamydia, and other cancer-causing agents.

If you’ve had many pregnancies that started at a young age, that also puts you at risk for cervical cancer. On the positive side, women who use barrier methods of birth control, namely the cervical cap, the diaphragm or let their partners use a condom, which in all cases protects the cervix, have a lower cancer rate.

For some reason, smoking affects the cervix and the accumulation of nicotine in that organ can trigger the disease. Passive smokers face the same risk. So quit smoking now and avoid the ones that do. A diet rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, and folacin is believed to protect against cervical cancer. So it’s probably wise to eat the vegetables.

Circumcision was once thought to protect women from cervical cancer, but now we know this is not true. This painful procedure has no medical benefit and should be discouraged except in special cases.

Usually there are no symptoms in the initial stage of the disease. Warning signs include bleeding after intercourse, bleeding between periods, or after menopause. In some, there is a watery, bloody discharge from the vagina. You may feel a dull back pain later.

With early detection, cervical cancer is highly curable as long as it has not spread beyond the uterus. An annual pelvic exam and routine Pap test can save you a lot of trouble.

Since the 1940s, the Pap test has reduced cervical cancer death rates by 70 percent. Today, only about three percent of women die from the disease thanks to this valuable test.

“A Pap smear is the best cervical cancer screening procedure. It can detect early lesions and premalignant lesions of the cervix. Apart from that, a Pap smear can also detect infections,” according to Dr. Rey de los Reyes , OB / GYN at United Doctors Medical Center in the Philippines.

The Pap test is named after Dr. GN Papanicolaou, who developed it. In this test, the doctor collects cell samples from the surface of the cervix by scraping it with a wooden spatula, brush, or cotton swab. The cell samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis.

“A negative result means that your cervix is ​​normal; a positive result indicates some abnormal cells. A positive result does not prove that you have cancer or even dysplasia, a precancerous condition, but it generally means that you need to undergo further evaluation, such as as a test. colposcopy and biopsy, ” said Dr. David E. Larson, editor-in-chief of the “Mayo Clinic Family Health Book.”

A colposcope is an instrument with a magnifying glass that helps the doctor examine the cervix. While doing this, he removes some of the cervix (biopsy) for analysis.

“Once you have a suspicious lesion on your cervix you should have a biopsy. Since some cervical lesions and even an infection can resemble cervical cancer, a biopsy can accurately detect the disease.” said De los Reyes. (Next: When Should You Get a Pap Smear?)

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