What is cervical cancer, a disease that kills 2 women a day

What is cervical cancer, a disease that kills 2 women a day

This cancer is not hereditary and 99% of cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

UDP communications.- It’s a type of cancer gynecological that develops in the cervix and has a significant impact on the female population. In this note we explain What is cervical cancer.

According to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), In Chile, about 600 women die each year. because of this cancer, which equivalent to the death of two women a day.

According to data from the Ministry of Health (Minsal), in the country cervical cancer has become a the second cause of death in the female population between 20 and 44 years.

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer (CaCu) is also known as cancer of the cervix or cervical cancer. Its name is due to the fact that the Cancer cells begin to multiply uncontrollably in the cervix.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone who has a cervix is ​​at risk for this type of gynecologic cancer. However, it It occurs most often between the ages of 30 and 50.

According to PAHO, this cancer It is not hereditary and 99% of cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

This cancer is asymptomatic and therefore difficult to detect. However, if detected in the early stages, there are more chances to survive.

In fact, according to the Minsal, This is the only one Cancer that is detected early is 100% curable.

types of cervical cancer

Cervical cancers and pre-cancers They are classified according to how they look when viewed under a microscope in the laboratory.

The two most common types of cervical cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and the adenocarcinoma. However, the first is present in 90% of cases.

Sometimes the CaCu it has features of squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. To this It is called mixed carcinoma or adenosquamous carcinoma. Very rarely, cancer starts in other cells of the cervix.

What are the causes of CaCu?

The main causel of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. this virus It is mostly acquired through unprotected sex and is commonly in the young population.

According to the CDC, at least half of sexually active people will acquire HPV at some point in their lives. However, few women get cervical cancer.

“It is quite common that if you contract the virus you have an automatic elimination period between one and two years. In some group of patients it is not removed and remains in the neck. In this group there is a subgroup of patients where the virus not only stayed in the cervix but entered the cell and began to generate changes.”explains doctor Paula Candia Palma, Director of the School of Medicine of the Diego Portales University.

This occurs because the cervix It is made up of cells that change as you age and give birth. His transformation is so great that sometimes develop abnormal changes that are called precancerous changes.

«These changes can only be associated with the presence of the virus or changes that go beyond that make the cell precancerous. Some of these cells have a low risk of becoming cancer, but others have a high risk,” says the doctor.

On the other hand, the National Cancer Institute adds that the main factors of risk of developing CC are related to maintaining risky sexual activity:

  • Onset of sexual activity at an early age
  • Having multiple sexual partners, regardless of sexual orientation
  • Do not use barrier methods or skin-to-skin contact that prevent the transmission of high-risk HPV.
What are the symptoms?

“Cervical cancer It is not a disease that produces great symptoms. It is a fairly asymptomatic and silent pathology in early stages, since, Between HPV infection and the development of the first symptoms, it can take 10 to 20 years.” Candia points out.

According to Mayo Clinicthe CDC and the (NIH) when the CaCu begins to form it usually does not cause symptoms, which complicates its detection. Frequently, symptoms begin after the cancer has spread.

The symptoms of cervical cancer in early stage are usually the following:

  • vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse, after menopause, or between menstrual periods.
  • Heavy menstrual periods or that last longer than normal.
  • liquid vaginal discharge strong-smelling or bloody.
  • Pain pelvic or pain during sexual intercourse.

When cancer spreads to other parts of the body causes the above symptoms in addition to the following:

  • Difficulty or pain when evacuating, or bleeding from the rectum with bowel movements.
  • Difficulty or pain when urinating or blood in the urine.
  • Dull pain in the back.
  • leg swelling.
  • pain in the abdomen.
  • Feeling tired.

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Written by Editor TLN

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