Taken from Makna Neoplasia (Newsletter) Issue 3/2009.
Cervical cancer begins with cancerous cells that grow on the surface of the cervix, the passageway that connects a woman's uterus to the vagina. We now know that infection with human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the primary risk factor for cervical cancer, but not all women with HPV infection will develop cancer.
Common risk factors
It has been published that women who don't get screened are the ones who are at highest risk. The high risk category also includes women who have weak immune systems (due to HIV infection, for example) and those who smoke.
Cervical Cancer Symptoms: What to look for ?
Women should tell their doctors or gynecologists if they see the following symptoms of cervical cancer:
- Unusual bleeding (such as spotting between periods, bleeding after menopause, bleeding after sexual intercourse, or bleeding after a vaginal exam or douching. You should also look for unusual vaginal discharge and signs of pain in the pelvic region.
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