HPV and Cervical Cancer

Thousands of people are affected by cervical cancer every year. The intriguing part is that this type of cancer is largely preventable through regular screening.

In this article, we will be discussing a few important points to help you understand cervical cancer in more detail.

How common is this type of cancer and what are the chances of survival?

Even though it is relatively rare, this type of cancer is among the three most common cancers that affect female organs (endometrial and breast as are the other two). With the advent of screening programmes, cervical cancer has become considerably less common. Every year, nearly 10 females out of every 100,000 get diagnosed with cervical cancer – this is nearly 3000 women – and it primarily affects a women who is sexually active and aged around 30 to 45. If it is caught early, the rates of survival are quite decent, although over 900 women die each year from cervical cancer.

You can find out more at the Mayo Clinic website, a highly respected medical resource.

The primary risk factors of cervical cancer

Infection due to high risk forms of HPV (human papilloma virus) is the cause of over 70% of cervical cancers. It is basically as common as getting a cold, since four out of every five women can be infected with this virus at any point. For most women, it clears inside a year or two and leaves no harm. However, in a few it doesn’t clear and there’s no reasonable explanation behind that. The virus can be transmitted through intimate contact or sexual intercourse. It is imperative to emphasise that this infection doesn’t have anything to do with promiscuity. Even those who have sex only once can get this infection. You can read more about HPV on this sexual health blog.

Cervical screening – who can get it?

Cervical screening is provided to women who are aged 25 to 49 after every 3 years. It is also provided to women who are aged 50 to 64 after every 5 years. Above the age of 65, it is only available for females who have not been screened ever since the age of 50, or the ones who have recently had any abnormal smears. What’s more, a cervical screening can always be requested from the GP if you are concerned.

Screening on a regular basis saves lives as nearly 5000 a year out of all the 4.2 million who attend the screening are diagnosed, which is why it is essential to take it. It is essential to note that screening isn’t any test for cancer. All it does is detect any abnormal cells on the cervix’s surface. If these cells are left untreated, they might develop into cancer.

We recommend this website for further reading – cancerresearchuk.org