What are the risk factors of Cervical Cancer?
Every year there is an increase in the amount of women who develop the disease cervical cancer. As we are developing a poster to encourage women to be aware of the disease, we feel it is essential to present the factors which put women at a higher risk.
*Low socio-economic status
How does cancer of the cervix develop?
ÃÂÃÂ¦Cancer of the cervix can take many years to develop. Changes occur in the cells of the cervix. These abnormal cells are called cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) also known as dysplasia. They have the potential to develop into cancer if left untreated. They do not always develop into cancer and is important to realise this.
ÃÂÃÂ¦CIN is usually the result of a virus infection human papillomavirus (HPV) they are a group of small DNA viruses that cause warts, cervical cancer and other anogenital cancers.
Usually your immune system gets rid of the virus without you even knowing it is there.
ÃÂÃÂ¦Begins in the lining of the cervix. These cells multiply uncontrollably and form tumours (cancerous masses). Once a tumour begins to form it grows deeper in the cervix. Eventually it grows into the body of the uterus, vagina, rectum, bowel and bladder.
ÃÂÃÂ¦It can spread into the lymphatic channels and lymph nodes which play a vital role in the body's defence mechanism. These lymph nodes produce lymphocytes which help fight cancer cells, slowing their growth and spread, but can get passed into the bloodstream which then means they can spread around the body and lodge themselves into other parts of the body's organs where again they can multiply. This is then known as metastasis.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?