Cervical cancer is one of the most common in women and in developing countries it is an important cause of death, especially in women living with HIV.
The main cause is HPV infection (human papilloma virus), and for its prevention it is necessary to avoid the initiation of sexual activity at very early ages and multiple sexual partners.
This type of cancer is slow growing and does not show signs and symptoms in the initial stage, so it is recommended to have at least one pap smear per year from the beginning of sexual activity to detect it early.
How it manifests
Cervical cancer does not show signs and symptoms when it is still small, and as it grows you can notice:
What to do in case of suspicion
If you have any suspicions, the ideal is to make an appointment with the gynecologist so that a definitive diagnosis can be made. The doctor may perform a pap smear and pelvic exam to find the cause.
How is the treatment done?
Treatment is based on the stage of development of the cancer. The earlier it is detected, the less invasive the treatment is. In addition to knowing what stage the cancer is at, it is important to see if it has metastasized and if there are lymph nodes affected to determine the type of treatment.
The HPV vaccine
The vaccine against the HPV or human papilloma virus, is given in the form of an injection and its function is to prevent diseases caused by this virus such as cervical cancer.
The vaccine is recommended for children aged 9 to 14, being more effective before the start of sexual activity. Other people may be covered by vaccination programs but with restricted effects.
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