Cervical Cancer

Essay by Kiki89High School, 10th gradeA+, April 2006

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What is cervical cancer? Are there tests you can get to determine if you have it, or do you show symptoms that would lead you to assume you have it? The following paragraphs will explain these points and more. After reading this, you will know the different signs of cervical cancer, tests that can be done, treatment, and other important information. Cervical cancer is a dangerous and heart breaking disease.

The cervix is the lower part of the womb, or uterus, which extends slightly into the top of the vagina, and is also referred to as the "neck of the womb." The surface of the cervix is covered with skin-like cells. The cervix is very important in that it maintains a normal pregnancy. Other functions of the cervix include producing lubrication for the vagina, producing mucus to help with sperm movement, holding the baby in the uterus during pregnancy. and in some women may be important in the enjoyment of sex.

Most women won't show any serious symptoms of cervical cancer, but abnormal bleeding during or after sex, and during the menstrual cycle may be a sign of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer often develops very quickly and is sometimes diagnosed in younger women.

Risk factors for cervical cancer are; infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) which increases a womans risk of developing abnormal cell changes, and the drug diethylstilboestrol (DES) because daughters of women who took this antimiscarriage drug seem to be at higher risk.

There are a few tests that can help determine if you have cervical cancer. A colposcopy is where the vagina and cervix are examined with a magnifying instrument to check for abnormalities. A punch or target biopsy is where a small tissue sample is taken from the cervix during a colposcopy. A cone biopsy...