Early Detection of Cervical Cancer
The lower narrow portion of the woman’s uterus is called the cervix.
This opening to the passageway is called the cervical canal. During a
menstrual period the blood flows from the uterus through the canal
and into the vagina. Producing mucus that helps sperm move from
the vagina to the uterus, the cervix remains tightly closed. Knowing
the exact function and location of the cervix will aid a lot as we
discuss cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is the formation of abnormal cells on the lining of the
cervix. Normally as cells grow they divide, the old cells die, and new
cells replace them. When the normal process by which cells divide
goes wrong, masses of tissue known as tumors begin to grow. Benign
tumors are not life threatening and normally can easily be removed
They usually stay in one location and do not normally spread to other
parts of the body. However, some tumors are malignant; these are
the ones that are a lot more serious as they have the possibility of
spreading and growing at alarming rates if not caught early. They are
life threatening and can be removed but sometimes grow again. When
these malignant tumors occur, they are known as cancer.
Risk factors that can contribute to the possibility of developing
cervical cancer are infections. The main infection that causes cervical
cancer is the human papillomavirus. These are common viruses that
are extremely contagious. It is estimated that most adults have at
one time in their lives been infected with HPV because of coming into
sexual contact with another person with the virus.
It can cause changes to the cervix that will eventually turn into
cancer, warts, or other uncomfortable and unpleasant problems. A
weakened immune system will have the same affect n the cervix or
women who have had many partners have a higher level of risk than
those who have not. Sometimes normal aging is a factor, usually
occurring in women over age 40.
Cancer that spreads from its place of origin to an