Cervical Cancer Early Detection
Our mission is to empower women with the knowledge of cervical cancer’s signs and symptoms, risk factors and provide recommendations. Learn, be well and share this knowledge with other women.
Did you know?
- Back in the 1940s, cervical cancer was a leading cause of death for women of childbearing age.
- Now, thanks to the groundbreaking work of Greek-born doctor, researcher, and women’s champion, George Papanicolaou, cervical cancer doesn’t even rank in the top 10 of women’s cancers and the death rate has dropped by more than 50%.
- It’s Dr. Papanicolaou’s test that we all know and love — the Pap Smear. The US Postal Service even honored his service to womankind with a stamp!
- Almost all cervical cancers are preventable. That’s because most cervical cancers are related to the common sexually transmitted disease called human papillomavirus, or HPV. After over 100 years of dedicated research by labs around the world, a successful HPV vaccine was released just over ten years ago.
Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
In their early stages, cervical cancers don’t usually show symptoms and can’t really be seen upon visual examination. That’s why Dr. Pap’s scrapey smear is so important. The cells have to go under a microscope to detect premalignant changes and take evasive steps so that you don’t have to even know about signs and symptoms.
Abnormal Bleeding and/or Discharge
Cervical cancers generally grow slowly and spread later and, by then, they’re less tractable to intervention. If the cancer has grown large enough that the doctor can see it with their own eyes, then symptoms probably include abnormal bleeding, particularly after sex. Symptoms may also behave like vaginal infections that aren’t cleared by regular treatment. That’s because they’re not regular vaginal infections. They’re actually infected and dying cancer tissue.
Bladder and/or Kidney Blockage
As this undetected cancer grows, it may come to block the ureters — the tubes from the kidneys that allow you to pass urine. Complications from blocked ureters may include but are not limited to pain, renal failure, coma, and death.
Another sign of advanced cervical cancer is constant leg pain because the cancerous growth has reached the leg nerves and smushed them. When the cervical cancer spreads to the lymphatic system, the pelvic lymph nodes can no longer drain properly and will result in swelling of the leg on the cancer side.
Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer
- The biggest risk factor is human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. It’s very common sexually transmitted disease. It can vaccinated against and it can be caught early.
- Other known risk factors include immune system deficiency and herpes.
- Age and race/ethnicity play some role in epidemiology.
- The use of oral contraceptives and exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) have been indicated to possibly increase the risk for cervical cancer to develop.
Recommendations for Cervical Cancer
- Get your Pap Smear according the schedule set forth by your OB/GYN or primary care provider.
- Check to see if you qualify for the HPV vaccination. If you do, get it.
- Tell your friends.
Cancer’s Worst Enemy exists to eliminate cancer from the human experience.
Together, we’re putting it where it belongs. In the history books.
Know Your Risk
Complete the test now.
It could be the 3 minutes that
save you a lifetime.