What causes cervical cancer?
The main cause of cervical cancer is a viral infection (human papillomavirus). The virus first attacks the organ, called cervicitis, causing inflammation in the cervix. In 90% of women, the virus is removed from the body after infection, but in some women the infection persists, which is called chronic cervicitis. Such an infection can go further and turn into cancer 10 or 15 years later.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
Symptoms include abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding and lower abdominal pain.
How is it diagnosed?
Diagnosis includes biopsy, in which a sample of cells/tissues is sent to a laboratory for testing. If the person is diagnosed with cancer then MRI, CT scan or abdominal scan may be done to understand the stage of cancer.
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How is cervical cancer treated?
Depending on the stage surgery or chemo-radiation may be advised.
How to prevent cervical cancer?
All women over the age of 21 should preferably go for Pap smear once a year. If the smear is negative for 3-4 years, then it is advisable to do a Pap smear once every 2-3 years.
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