Discover how you can stop cervical cancer in its tracks in Kingston, New York.

Cervical cancer is the number three cause of cancer death among women.  Fortunately, cervical cancer is preventable when detected at an early stage. The bad news is that it is uncommon to have symptoms of cervical cancer until the cancer has spread and at that point, the cancer often cannot be cured.

Cervical cancer is a very slow growing cancer that starts with precancerous cells on the lining of the cervix (the cervix is an organ at the lower part of the uterus and top of the vagina).  When precancerous cell are present on the lining of the cervix, the condition is known as dysplasia.  It typically takes years for the precancerous cells to become cancerous.

If undetected, precancerous changes can develop into cervical cancer and spread to the bladder, intestines, lungs and liver.  Once the cancer has spread outside the cervix, the likelihood of a cure becomes grim.

What you can do to prevent cervical cancer?

Early detection is the key to preventing cervical cancer. A Pap smear is a test that checks for abnormal precancerous cells or cancerous cells on the lining of the cervix.  The cells along the cervix are removed and sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope.  If precancerous cells or cancerous cells are revealed by the Pap smear, the abnormal cells can be surgically removed.

When detected in the precancerous stage, the abnormal cells can be surgically removed before cervical cancer develops.  Even when cancerous cells are present, cervical cancer can be cured if the cancer has not spread beyond the wall of the cervix into the surrounding lymph nodes and organs.

Pap smears screen for precancers and cancer of the cervix, but it is not the final diagnosis.  If abnormal changes are found, the cervix is examined under microscope--this is called colposcopy.  Most women that are diagnosed with cervical cancer have not had regular Pap smears.

The American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians recommends that women have Pap smears once every two years between the age of 21 and 30, and once every three years after age 30 as long as the last three Pap tests were normal.  Regular Pap smears are crucial to the early detection and prevention of cervical cancer!

There is a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

Of all forms of cancer, there is only one vaccine that prevents cancer: Gardasil is a vaccine that prevents cervical cancer.  In June, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil which prevents infection against the two types of human papillomavirus (HPV).  Cervical cancer is almost always caused by a virus known as HPV and the vaccine prevents you from acquiring HPV.

One word of caution: women who have been vaccinated against HPV's still need to have regular Pap smears.

One Easy Way to Lower your Risk of Cervical Cancer

The virus that causes cervical cancer, HPV, is a common virus that is spread through sexual intercourse.  Some strains of HPV lead to cervical cancer.  The risk factors for cervical cancer include multiple sexual partners, multiple partners who engage in high risk sexual activities and low economic status (persons who cannt afford regular Pap smears).

It's real simple: if you choose to engage in sex with multiple partners, you are placing yourself at high risk for cervical cancer.  Even if you only have sex with one person, but that persons has had sex with many partners, you are essentially having sex with everyone that your partner has slept with. 

Statistics that you should know

When cervical cancer is detected while the cancerous cells (usually squamous cells) are confined to the cervix, the statisticaly likelihood that you will be alive five years after the date of the diagnosis (known as the five year survival rate) is 92%.  This is the good news!  Most of the time early cervical cancer has no symptoms.

The bad news is that, when cervical cancer is detected after the malignant cells have spread outside the cervix, the five year survival rate is less than 50%.  When symptoms begin, it is often too late.  The symptoms of metastatic cervical cancer include continuous vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods or after menopause and any bleeding after menopause. 

The lesson is to have regular Pap smears every two-three years to check for the precancerous cells on the cervix that can lead to cervical cancer.  This is usually the only way to detect cervical cancer before it spreads.

I welcome your phone call if your have questions

If you have questions or want more information, I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 866-889-6882.  You can always request a copy of my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website, www.protectingpatientrights.com.  Please feel free to share this article with your family and friends.