Good day Ladies and Gentlemen. Tis an honour for me to discuss with us today on Cervical Cancer. It is quietly ending the lives of our Women, but can be stopped with good information and appropriate action.
Today, we’ll just do a quick intro with emphasis on the normal. Next time will be the meat of the matter.
It will be a bit interactive, with me punctuating the talk by asking some questions. Will be glad if we reply.
Before digging in, what do we think the cervix refers to? Don’t worry, just try. Or, you could send the answer to me privately. Just make an attempt. You may pause here and answer the question personally.
- Cervical cancer is the third cause of cancer-related death in Women worldwide
- The Second in most African Countries (9.8 per 100,000)
Occupies about same position in Occurrence. (17.8 per 100,000 women).
- Globally, cervical cancer accounted for an estimated 528,000 new cancer cases worldwide and for 266,000 deaths in 2012.
- It is one of the most easily preventable Cancer in the World through the Screening program.
- Global incidence and mortality rates depend upon the presence of screening programs for cervical precancer and cancer and of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, which are most likely to be available in developed countries. Due to these interventions, there has been a 75% decrease in the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer over the past 50 years in developed countries.
It has now slipped to about 10th position in occurrence (prevalence) and mortality (death) in developed Countries.
- This means if all sexually exposed Women here on this platform get screened per protocol and tell at least 5 other Ladies who do same (screen and tell 5), we may achieve same result in less than 50 years.
So, what is this cervix?
The cervix is the gateway from the vagina to the uterus (womb).
It plays a critical role in pregnancy by sealing off the growing baby in the uterus from the outside world.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is central to the development of cervical neoplasia and can be detected in 99.7 percent of cervical cancers
It is mostly transmitted via sexual intercourse. There are over 100 subtypes of this virus with 16, 18 and 45 causing cervical and anal cancers.
When one gets infected, the body has a way of clearing out the virus 90% of the time. It is the other 10% that causes cancer. It may take up to 15 years from the day one gets infected for the cancer to manifest.
Major risk factors identified in epidemiologic studies are as follows:
- Sex at a young age
- Multiple sexual partners
- Promiscuous male partners
- History of sexually transmitted diseases.
As a male or female, it may be your first time to have sex, or you’re in a committed relationship though having sex, if your partner has a history of multiple sexual partners, you’re at risk.
HIV infection is associated with a 5-fold increase in the risk of cervical cancer, presumably because of an impaired immune response to HPV infection.
Signs and symptoms
- Clinically, the first symptom of cervical cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding, usually postcoital (after sex)
- Vaginal discomfort,
- malodorous discharge, and dysuria are not uncommon.
Symptoms of advanced cervical cancer may include:
- loss of appetite,
- weight loss,
- pelvic pain,
- back pain,
- leg pain,
- swollen legs,
- heavy vaginal bleeding,
- bone fractures, and
- (rarely)leakage of urine or feces from the vagina.
‘Advanced’ means it has gone beyond the cervix and most likely affected near and distant organs.
Please stay posted for more on Cervical Cancer.