Cervical cancer is a cervical disease that occurs as a result of abnormal cells around the cervix. These cells continue to grow and become a malignant tumor which then causes cervical cancer.
The cervix is a part of a woman’s uterus that is cylindrical in shape and connects between the vagina and the uterus. When the abnormal cells get stuck in the cervix and it continues to grow uncontrollably, it gradually becomes a malignant tumor. This malignant tumor then causes the cancer. Cancer is a frightening disease that is very common in women compared to men. Among the organs that men do not have, such as the breast and uterus, are the most common sites for cancer.
However, women must maintain the cleanliness of these organs properly and pay attention to their food. In addition, doing regular pap smears can provide information quickly from an early age so that steps to treat cancer can be done quickly. If this cancer is caught early, the possibility of being cured is still high, so do not have the word “fear” to check your health regularly. In addition, there are several other factors that can be done to control and reduce the risk of cervical cancer in women.
How Common Is Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is a dangerous type of cancer that attacks women. Based on data from the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, and this deadly disease occurs more frequently in women living in developing countries than in developed countries.
In Indonesia alone, cervical cancer ranks second after breast cancer that attacks women. This cancer can occur in any woman and at any age, but the older the risk of cervical cancer is getting bigger. Based on data from the Indonesian health minister, that in the country of Indonesia about 40,000 new cases of women suffering from cervical cancer occur every year.
One way to reduce the risk of cervical cancer is to reduce risk factors. For this problem, those of you who experience symptoms like the ones we mention below, should consult your doctor to find out more about your health.
Symptoms and Signs of Cervical Cancer
Actually, knowing the symptoms from the time is very difficult because cervical cancer in its early stages and pre-cancer does not show any symptoms. A woman does not feel any of the symptoms of this cancer so that a tumor forms. Well, when a tumor has formed around the cervix, the symptoms of cervical cancer can only be felt. Here we look at what symptoms of cervical cancer you should know.
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- You feel lower abdominal or pelvic pain
- There is abnormal bleeding in the vagin@ even though it is not menstruating such as bleeding when passing stools, bleeding after pelvic examination, after listening and others
- Feeling pain during sex
- Easily tired and weak
- Appetite disappeared
- Weight loss suddenly even though you are not on a diet
- There is swelling of one leg
- Discharge that is not normal in the vagina
These are just symptoms of cervical cancer that are common, but there can be other symptoms that we don’t mention such as infection or other things. For this reason, the best way to do a uterine health check is to do a Pap Semar test or a pelvic exam from an obstetrician.
Whatever the cause of cervical cancer, you still have to visit a doctor to quickly get relief. Slowly going to the doctor will only make things worse and cause you to miss out on effective treatment. Checking your doctor will be quicker to notify you with information about your condition because there are other symptoms we did not mention above that are found.
When should I go to the doctor
If you find any of the symptoms above or are more suspicious, consult a doctor immediately. Remember! if your friend is not a symptom of cancer, it could be in you it is a symptom. The human body varies from one to another and is also influenced by medical history and genetics. So immediately do a consultation when you find symptoms of cervical cancer as above.
If you are a woman who is sexually active, it is highly recommended to always check with your doctor with a pap smear to ensure that your uterus is sterile from abnormal cells. Maybe the doctor will give you an injection of the HPV vaccine, so there is no need to wait for new cancers to appear for treatment or treatment.
The higher the age of a woman, the risk of cervical cancer will be even greater. So, for women who are 40 years old and over, it is also advisable to always check their condition to an obstetrician. Possible symptoms of cancer already exist, but the body does not feel the signs like the above. By conducting an examination, the doctor will know what is happening to the uterus, whether it is healthy or there are abnormal cells that must be treated immediately.
Causes of Cervical Cancer
After knowing the symptoms of cervical cancer, now it is also necessary to know what causes cervical cancer. In general, the cause of uterine cancer is the “human papillomavirus” virus or abbreviated as HPV. There are so many HPV viruses in the world, there are about a hundred types of HPV viruses, but not all of them cause cervical cancer. So far, it is only known that there are about 13 types of HPV viruses that can cause cervical cancer and generally occur as a result of unhealthy sexual relations.
The work of the HPV virus in the human body is to produce E6 and E7 proteins. Both are very dangerous to the human body because they can deactivate certain substances or genes in the female body that function to fight tumor cells. As a result, a woman’s body is no longer immune to tumors.
In addition, the two types of proteins (E6 and E7) also cause the formation of the uterine wall significantly, resulting in gene mutations or changes in genes in the female body. When this gene mutates, this is the beginning of cervical cancer in the female body.
The HPV virus that causes cervical cancer sometimes causes no signs at all, so it is not detected unless by direct examination. However, there are also types of HPV that cause symptoms such as the appearance of warts in the vaginal area, or other signs. So, how strong is the power of the HPV virus in attacking uterine cells, this can only be determined by being diagnosed by a specialist.
There are two strains of the HPV virus that do not cause any symptoms when fighting or occupying a woman’s body. These are HPV 16 and HPV 18, both of which account for 70% of cervical cancer formation. Thus, women generally do not know that they are being a host or a place for the virus.
One way to find out the HPV virus easily is with a pap smear test. So, it is important for women to do a pap smear test so that this virus is known early on and get help quickly to provide resistance to the Human Papillomavirus.
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Cervical Cancer Risk Factors
As we only know that this disease is caused by the HPV virus, what if someone is not infected with this virus at all, can they get cervical cancer? The answer, Yes. It turns out that there are other factors that support cervical cancer even though you have never had HPV. What are the risk factors, here we look at them one by one.
1. Infected with the human papilloma virus
One way to get infected with this virus is to have sex with multiple women. It can also result from having sex without using a condom (risky intercourse). For those who usually will be attacked by HPV 16 and HPV 18. Furthermore, human papilloma virus infection can occur in those who did not vaccinate HPV.
It’s no secret that smoking is bad for health, even smoking includes an attempt to kill oneself slowly and politely. Cigarettes contain many chemicals that are bad and harmful to health so that they can trigger cervical cancer. Women who smoke have a much greater risk of cervical cancer than those who do not smoke.
3. Chlamydia infection
A study has shown that women who have infections from sexual diseases such as chlamydia have a much higher risk of cervical cancer. So, it can be said that free and illegitimate sex is a trigger for cervical cancer.
Immunosuppression is a medication that affects the immune system. Among them are the HIV and AIDs viruses, both of which attack the body’s immunity and this virus can increase a patient’s risk of cervical cancer.
5. Not consuming enough fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a type of healthy food that is full of essential nutrients for health. Women who do not like vegetables or fruits tend to have a greater risk of cervical cancer than women who are diligent in consuming fruits and vegetables.
Obesity is significantly overweight and above normal weight. Someone who is overweight tends to have a greater risk of cervical cancer because this person triggers the formation of adenocarcinoma in the cervix.
7. Taking birth control pills
Birth control pills that are taken for a long time that is more than five years can increase the risk of cervical cancer. So, for those of you who prevent pregnancy by taking birth control pills, from now on you can look for other alternatives to prevent pregnancy.
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One way to prevent pregnancy is to use an intrauterine device (IUD), which is a device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. And based on research, the use of an intrauterine device (IUD) is safe to use and has a low risk of cervical cancer.
8. Women who have given birth
Furthermore, the risk factors for cervical cancer are women who have given birth or have given birth three times. They have a higher risk of cervical cancer than women who have never given birth.
Indeed, poverty is not a direct factor, but it is one of the causes of cervical cancer due to lack of access to health information. Poverty causes a person not to have adequate access to health so that they are vulnerable to this disease.
10. Give birth at a young age
Giving birth at a young age means giving birth under the age of 17 and not having a miscarriage. If he is 17 years old and has not had a miscarriage, then he has a twofold higher risk of cervical cancer.
11. Genetic factors
Genetic factors are also known as heredity. If one of your offspring, such as your grandmother, mother or cousin, has had cervical cancer, then you are also among those who have a high risk of up to two or three times for cervical cancer.
12. Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a drug used to prevent pregnancy miscarriage. For women who take this drug have a high risk of cervical cancer, either mother or daughter who is born. Indeed, the drug Diethylstilbestrol has been no longer given since the 1980s, but pregnant women who gave birth under 1980 are likely to take this drug, if so then they have a higher risk of cervical cancer, both mother and daughter.
Cervical Cancer Drugs that are Often Used
Cervical cancer treatment includes a very complicated treatment and is usually done through several phases. So the sooner you detect cervical cancer, the easier it will be to treat it. Here are some phases of cervical cancer treatment:
Surgery is a method of treating cervical cancer by removing parts of the body that are infected with this disease. To get the best results, you and a medical professional must work together on this:
Radical trachelectomy: This involves removing the upper part of the vagina and the tissue around the cervix, while the uterus is still in place so that a person on this medication can still get pregnant and give birth. This is usually an alternative for those who still want to give birth or have children. This treatment is usually done in the early stages of cancer.
Hysterectomy: Treatment of cervical cancer in this way is to remove the cervix and uterus as well so that you can no longer have children. Included in the lift are tubafalopi and egg indugn.
Pelvic exenteration: This is the most terrible treatment, if you do this treatment, the uterus, cervix, vagina, ovaries, urine, fallopian tubes and rectum will be removed so that after undergoing this operation, you can no longer have children.
2. Radio Therapy
Radio therapy is a treatment using RADIATION either from externals such as from a machine that emits radiation or with internals. Internally usually using implants that are inserted into the body and emit radiation. Treatment with radiotherapy usually lasts 5 weeks to 8 weeks.
In the early stages of cervical cancer you can treat it with radiotherapy and it can also be combined with chemotherapy.
As well as the treatment above, you can do chemotherapy alone or combine this treatment with radiotherapy. This method is usually used to prevent the development of cancer cells or their spread. Cervical cancer treatments all have side effects, so you should consult your doctor about the solution you want to take.
Among the possible risks are narrowing of the vagina, early menopause and lymphedema.