Women's Health

Cervical Cancer - Causes and Prevention

Written by
Dr. Kamalpreet Kaur Nagpal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Nov 05, 2013 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018   -  1 min read

Abstract

Abstract

Estimates suggest that by 2025 more than 365 women will die due to cervical cancer everyday. Cervical cancer is caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus ) and mainly affects young women.

Cervical Cancer - Causes and Prevention

Trivia:

  • Estimates suggest that by 2025 more than 365 women will die due to cervical cancer every day.
  • Cervical cancer is the second largest cancer affecting women's health.

What Causes Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus ) and mainly affects young women. Surprisingly HPV is not only transmitted through sexual exposure but also via fomites like:

  • Sharing common toilet seats
  • Bed sheets in hotels and common places
  • Towels in hotels and common places
  • Also by oral sex

HPV can also cause Head and Neck cancer.

Tests to Identify Cancerous Changes :

  • Now HPV DNA testing is also available.
  • Pap smear is a screening test for early detection of cancer cervix. It is such a simple and painless office procedure that every lady should come forward for this. It takes 10 years for any abnormal changes in pap to develop into cancerous changes. So it is such a large protection and eye opener.

Vaccination As a Prevention Method?

  • Yes. Vaccination for prevention of cervical cancer is available these days.
  • This vaccine not only protects against cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer, but also against genital warts. Every woman after 21 years of age should undergo Pap Smear testing yearly to detect any early changes in cervix ( mouth of uterus).
  • Cervical cancer vaccination is against HPV 6, 11, 16, 18 (deadly strains causing dysplastic and precancerous lesions).
  • It gives protection against CIN grade 1, 2, 3, AIS, Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia and vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.

How to Administer Vaccination?

  • Starting age for vaccination is 9 -12 years and catch up is given in adolescent girls and young women between 13 and 26 years.
  • It is best given before sexual exposure. The earlier the vaccination is given, the better it is.
  • Vaccination schedule is 0, 2, 6 months i.e. 3 doses given over a period of 6 months. It is administered intramuscularly in deltoid region.

Important Note : THIS VACCINE SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN DURING PREGNANCY.

Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  1 min read

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