In most cases, Cervical cell abnormality rarely causes any notable early symptoms. But with the passage of time as the Cancer spreads and grows following symptoms can be spotted:
There are many types of the HPV virus. Not all types of HPV cause Cervical Cancer. Some of them cause genital warts, but other types may not cause any symptoms.
Some of the causes of Cervical Cancer are known while some causes are yet under the veil. So we have a few precautionary measures that might help in avoiding the disease.
Practicing safe sex using condoms/protection; limiting the number of sex partners.
A Pap smear test is a microscopic examination of cells taken from the uterine cervix. It tests for the presence of preCancerous or Cancerous cells on the cervix. Having regular Pap tests is the best way for women to protect themselves against Cervical Cancer. A Pap test looks for changes to the cells of the cervix that, if left untreated for a number of years, could develop into Cancer.
A Pap test is conducted to detect certain viral infections or abnormal cells, which is known to cause Cervical Cancer. Early treatment of preCancerous changes detected on the Pap smear helps in stopping Cervical Cancer before it fully develops. Pap tests are very accurate, and regular Pap screenings reduce Cervical Cancer rates and mortality by 80 percent.
The incidence of Cancer and deaths from Cervical Cancer has significantly declined over the years because of prevention, screening, and early detection by the Pap smear. Most abnormal Pap smear results indicate the early stages of the disease.
Result of Pap Smear Test
The result of the test is either normal i.e. negative or abnormal i.e. positive.
Normal Pap smear: It means that no abnormal cells were identified and there is no need of a Pap smear for another three years.
Abnormal Pap smear: Abnormal doesn’t necessarily signify the presence of Cancer. Rather, it might indicate the presence of abnormal cells or inflammation of cells on the cervix, some of which could be preCancerous. There are several levels of abnormal cells:
How often the Pap Smear Test needs to be done?
PapScreen Victoria recommends all women aged 18 to 70 who have ever been sexually active have a Pap test every two years. Sexual activity includes genital-skin to genital-skin contact, not just intercourse. This is why even if you are a virgin you may still need to have Pap tests.
|<21||Active||every 3 years|
|21-29||Active/Inactive||every 3 years|
Cervical Cancer is staged using the TNM system of staging.
|Stage of Cancer||5 year Survival Rate|
Survival rate speaks about the general statistics based on the outcome of large groups of patients. However, these survival rates can’t precisely predict the outcome or prognosis of any individual case. A number of factors like age, health and family record etc., play a vital role in determining an individual’s survival rate.
Cervical Cancer is highly curable when detected at an early stage and the chances gradually decline with each passing stage and may prove to be fatal if waited till the last stage. However, it might bring some relief to know that most cases of Cervical Cancer are detected at an early stage through Pap test.
The good thing is that Cervical Cancer can be found at a very early stage through a Pap test.
Some other tests to detect Cancer are:
Cervical Cancer can often be successfully treated when it’s found early. Treatment options depend on several factors including:
It is highly recommended to visit the doctor and take a Pap test before the age of 21. If one is detected with Cervical Cancer then the regular sessions as recommended by the doctor should not be skipped!
As mentioned time and again, go for the Pap test and don’t let this health hazard skip your notice.