When cells in the body grow out of control it is called cancer.
Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s entrance to the uterus from the vagina, an area call cervix. Almost all cervical cancer cases are caused by infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV). HPV is an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact. (Watch the video about HPV).
As presented in our 2D medical animation, most HPV infections will resolve spontaneously and cause no symptoms and complications, but persistent infection can cause cervical cancer in women.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women. According to WHO in 2018, an estimated 570,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and about 311,000 women died from the disease
All women are at risk for cervical cancer. It often occurs in women over age 30. Cervical cancer in its early stages may not cause any signs and symptoms. When cervical cancer becomes advance it may cause abnormal bleeding or discharge from the vagina, for example bleeding during or after sex.
HPV vaccination and secondary prevention approaches such as screening for and treating early-stage lesions will prevent most cervical cancer cases. Cervical cancer can be a successfully treatable type of cancer if detected during its early stages. Therefore, routine screening for cervical cancer is recommended for women between the ages 21 and usually 65.
Cervical cancer may be treated with surgery, which is removal of the cancer tissue, chemotherapy which includes medications that can shrink and kill the cancer cells, and radiation therapy which uses high energy rays to kill the cancer cells. Talk to your doctor about screening, and signs and symptoms of cervical cancer.
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