Cervical Cancer: Reproductive & Sexual Health Education Series

Part 4: Understand Cervical Cancer, Causes and Prevention Strategies

Cervical Cancer is the growth of cancer cells beginning in the cervix. All women are at risk for cervical cancer, but it occurs most often in women at age 30.

Image from Sanjeevani Cbcc Usa Cancer Hospital

Major Causes of Cervical Cancer

A long lasting infection with certain strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer, but there are also several minor causes that can be attributed to the development of cervical cancer.

Minor Causes of Cervical Cancer:

Image from WHO
  • Smoking
  • Giving birth to three or more children

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Early on, cervical cancer may not show any signs or cause any symptoms. However, advanced cervical cancer is mainly characterized by the following:

  • Pelvic pain
  1. All women should begin cervical cancer screening within three years after they start having sex and no later than age 21, and screening should be done every year with a regular Pap test. During a Pap test, providers will take a swab and collect cells from your uterus and cervix, it will be sent to a laboratory to test for abnormal cells that could indicate a pre-cancerous lesion These tests can detect precancerous cell changes, the presence of HPV (which causes cervical cancer), and the presence of cancer.

Resources

Learn more about Cervical Cancer from the CDC

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