Every cell in your body has its own life-cycle. When it comes to the end, these elements die off, giving a place for new cells.
Sometimes problems occur, leading to uncontrolled propagation and growth of abnormal cells that form a tumor. If these cells have ability to metastasize to other areas of the body, the condition is called cancer.
That can happen in any part of the body. The reasons of this trouble are not fully understood. Specialists say that genetic mutations, family history and habits (smoking, alcohol misuse) play a significant role in the process.
Forty years ago cervical cancer was one of the most frequent cancers among American women.
This situation was changed by increasing of the screenings (pelvic examination and Pap test), which can catch any abnormalities in the cervix on the early stages.
Cervix is a lower part of the womb, connected with the vagina. It consists of the two main parts: exocervix is located near the vagina and is covered by squamous cells; endocervix is situated closely to the uterus body and contains glandular cells.
In the majority of cases cancer starts in the so-called transformation zone (a place, where exocervical cells meet endocervical ones).
Most cervical malignancies are squamous cell carcinomas, which start from exocervix. Other types of cervical cancer include adenocarcinoma, mixed carcinoma, melanoma, sarcoma and lymphoma.
According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer is more likely to affect women in midlife.
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This malignancy is associated with human papillomavirus infection. That's why experts recommend getting vaccinated against HPV for preteens.
In fact, cervical cancer usually stays symptomless, until it reaches the advanced stage.
Ladies, don't ignore these warning signs of the cervical malignancy:
#1 Abnormal (not menstrual) vaginal bleeding – spotting, bleeding after intercourse or pelvic exam is usually a warning sign of numerous disorders, including cervical cancer. And having vaginal bleeding after menopause can't be normal absolutely.
#2 Pain during intercourse – those who suffer from cervical cancer, often complain of painful sensation and discomfort during sex. This can result in low libido and problems in relations.
#3 Unusual vaginal discharge – you may notice abnormal bloody discharge, which is not linked to the periods, and may have specific smell.
#4 Changes in menstruation – cervical cancer can change your periods, making them longer and/or heavier than usually.
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