Health due tommorrow please check

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Cervical Cancer



A. Understanding Cancer


Cancer is characterized by excessive, uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells which invade and destroy other tissues. It can develop in almost any organ or tissue of the body and some types of cancer are more life threatening than others. Although people of all ages develop cancer, most types of cancer are more common in people over the age of 50. Cancer usually develops gradually over many years, the result of a complex mix of environmental, nutritional, behavioral, and hereditary factors. ("Cancer" Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia).

Cervical Cancer starts in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that opens at the top of the vagina. It is the third most common type of cancer in women worldwide and generally develops slowly over a period of years. There are two main types of cervical cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is from the squamous cells that cover the surface of the exocervix. Cervical adenocarcinoma develops from the mucus-producing gland cells of the endocervix. Less commonly, cervical cancers have features of both squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas. These are called adenosquamous carcinomas or mixed carcinomas ("What Is Cervical Cancer?" American Cancer Society Inc.)

Repeated or persistent HPV infection appears to raise the chances of developing the disease. HPV is passed from one person to another during skin-to-skin contact and during sex - including vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, and even during oral sex. In addition to HPV, other things can increase your risk of cervical cancer like not having regular Pap tests, having HIV or another condition that weakens your immune system and smoking. ("Cervical Cancer Basic Information" CDC 2008). Other risk factors for cervical cancer stated by the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia (2006) includes: "having sex at an early age, multiple sexual partners, long-term use of birth control pills (more than 5 years), weakened immune system, infections with genital herpes or chronic Chlamydia infections and poor economic status wherein they may not be able to afford regular Pap smears".

Cervical cancer usually goes unnoticed because they mimic other ailments. Many women pass these symptoms off as pre menstrual disorders. Advanced cervical cancer may cause bleeding or discharge from the vagina that may be foul smelling, watery or contain mucous, pelvic pain that is not related to the normal menstrual cycle, bladder pain or pain during urination and bleeding between regular menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse, douching or pelvic examination.

B. Diagnosis

Pap smear and HPV screening are routine examinations done to prevent cervical cancer. However, when the Pap test results indicate that there are abnormal cells present in the cervix, further testing is recommended like colposcopy and staging.

Colposcopy is a medical procedure performed to examine the cervix more closely. This procedure is normally performed due to abnormal Pap smear results. This procedure is very much like a Pap smear, but the doctor uses a colposcope which is a lighted flexible tube that has a small camera or microscope to view the cervix. The colposcope magnifies the cervix and its image is displayed on a monitor. This procedure usually takes 15-30 minutes to perform. If a problem is seen during this procedure they may take out a small tissue sample for biopsy.

C. Treatment

There are three types of standard treatment that are used in Cervical Cancer they are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Surgery is the removal of the cancer in an operation. There are different surgical procedures and will depend on which part of the reproductive system are affected. The most commonly performed procedure is total hysterectomy which is the removal of the uterus, including the cervix. vaginal hysterectomy could also be performed if the cervix was taken out through the vagina.

Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer.

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). Regional chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen; the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas. (Cervical Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) - Treatment Option Overview)

D. Prevention and Control

The Centers for disease Prevention and Control (CDC), has established several programs to prevent the spread of cervical cancer. One of them is the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) which supports activities that include screening, tracking, follow up, case management, partnership development, professional development, and public education and outreach. Vaccination against HPV for boys and girls ages 11-12 has already been recommended to pediatricians around the country.



Works Cited (would go here)

  • Health due tommorrow please check -

    It looks very well written and thorough to me. In the last section (D), first line, the word "Disease" should be capitalized.

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