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May 13, 2009

Cervical Cancer :


Causes and Risks
The cause of cervical cancer is unknown, but a variety of interacting factors are probably at fault. These include early sexual activity, multiple sex partners, and sexually transmitted diseases. Viruses associated with sexually transmitted diseases are also thought to play an important role, as are hygiene and douching practices. Smoking and a lower socio-economic status may also be involved.

Facts
Cervical cancer is a slow-growing, highly predictable cancer of the cervix, where the narrow, outer end of the uterus opens into the vagina. Caught early, it is easily cured. Each year in the United States, approximately 12,800 women are diagnosed with the disease and 45,000 more with carcinoma in situ, an early-stage cervical cancer. Many thousands more are treated for a pre-cancerous condition known as dysplasia.

Prevention

The risk for cervical cancer can be lowered by limiting the number of sexual partners, using condoms, avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, and getting regular Pap smears. Catching the disease early is simple and inexpensive, and in its early stages, cervical cancer can be completely cured. If you are at least 15 years old, if you are sexually active, and if you are not having Pap smears every year, do yourself this favor: make an appointment today for this important screening test.

Symptoms
Symptoms of cervical cancer include painless vaginal bleeding, an unusual vaginal discharge, and painful intercourse. But often, the only way you will know is by having a Pap smear, a simple, accurate, inexpensive screening test used to identify the presence of abnormal cells in the cervix.

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