How is cervical cancer caused?
Cervical cancer is caused by persistent infections associated with high risk strains of the human papilloma virus or HPV. In most cases, high-risk strains of HPV create persistent infections and when your body is unable to clear the infection, the virus begins to mutate cells, causing them to become pre-cancerous. This process usually takes place over the course of years. This means that many cases of cervical cancer caused by HPV are entirely preventable through screening and vaccination.
Risk factors for cervical cancer
- Multiple sexual partners
- Early onset of sexual activity
- Family history of cervical cancer
- Weak immune system
Symptoms of cervical cancer
- Abnormal bleeding
- Watery vaginal discharge
- Bleeding after sex
How we combat cervical cancer at Akhami Medical Group
All of these reasons make prevention all the more important. The great news is that there is a way to prevent cervical cancer and the virus that causes it! Vaccination against the many high-risk strains of HPV significantly lowers the chance of contracting the virus. While vaccination is most effective before a person becomes sexually active, it is still very effective at lowering the risk for HPV and thus, cervical cancer.
Furthermore, screening for cervical cancer should be an essential component of any health plan. Early detection is critical in successfully fighting cervical cancer; when detected at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate for invasive cervical cancer is 92%. At our clinic in Passaic, we offer pap tests to detect abnormal cell changes and HPV tests as a follow up if you receive an abnormal pap result. An annual gynecological visit is an integral way to keep cervical cancer at bay! Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Shahrokh Ahkami, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.