Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix. It is a very slow growing process and type of cancer and so therefore; it can sometimes nearly take up to several years before any noticeable signs or cervical cancer symptoms starts to show. Early symptoms of cervical cancer can and do vary, but are usually similar in nature. Normally, a pap smear can, and should show any abnormal cells or dysplasia (abnormal cell changes in the cervix); but finding the abnormal cells does not actually mean that you do have cervical cancer. Survival rates of cervical cancer patients depend on many certain factors. Some of these factors include but not limited to: the stage of the cervical cancer, the type of cancer, age of the patient treatment options, etc. Sometimes a pap smear test does not detect abnormalities of cells or cancer, so unfortunately, the smear isn't always 100 percent accurate. As a woman, you need to understand your body; realize and be conscious of anything that seems peculiar.
I recommend that you read the information on Hpv. Cervical cancer symptoms do, and can mimic Uterine cancer, endometriosis and other female problems; these are just a few instances. Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer worldwide. It is also known to be the fifth leading cause of all cancer deaths. Cervical cancer affects nearly 16,000 of women every year.
Statistics show that cervical cancer in the United States alone, is approximately the 8th common type of cancer in women. Prognosis of cervical cancer depends greatly on the staging of the cancer at the time. Approximately 80 to 90% of women that get treatment with stage I cancer, and 60 to 75% of women with stage II cervical cancer, will survive five years after being diagnosed. It's true; but sad and unfortunate, that health care coverage does plays a significant role in diagnosing cervical cancer especially in it's early stages. Due to the concern of not having the financial capability for screening, many women go without a diagnosis. There are some people that develop genital warts from having the Hpv infection; while others don't have any at all. That is why screening is so very important and keeping your follow up appointments. See Pictures of genital warts (Hpv warts)
Home Hpv Test May Detect Early Cervical Cancer
A new study suggests there may be a home Hpv test that can detect early cervical cancer. The study had sent out 155 home Hpv test kits via mail, to women in North Carolina. The age ranges of the women were from 30 to 64. All of the women that were mailed these tests, were either uninsured or low income. None of these women have had a pap smear in at least (4) four years unfortunately. According to the study, approximately 12 to 13 percent of the women were injected with high risk Hpv. (High risk Hpv increases the risk of cervical cancer).
Hpv tests cannot detect cervical cancer directly, however; the home test that was given, did find that (3) three percent of the women had pre-cancerous lesions that could lead to cervical cancer. All of these women who had the high risk Hpv, were confirmed by the home-kit. These women were also tested by doctors to make sure there were no missed diagnoses of Hpv or cervical cancer. The new Hpv test is starting to show to be promising, but further research is still in progress.
Remember, even if you are diagnosed with CIN, even advanced stages, continuing to be monitored and checked by your physician is the best way to detect cervical cancer at it's early stages. Keeping up with your pap smears and pelvic exams is crucial, yes, but also listening to your intuition is most important.
Diagnosing Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is not diagnosed usually until the later symptoms begin to appear and become much more noticeable. Several factors can either delay, and even sometimes obscure the diagnosis because of the several different types of cancer.
There are other possible reasons for delay of diagnosis could be caused from the types of symptoms that you may be experiencing over-all; or some women may be ignoring the symptoms, and/or thinking it's something else or hoping it will go away.
There are also other reasons that could be hindering someone which also could include the fact they think they have cervical cancer, so someone procrastinates from being afraid of finding out or until it's too late. Symptoms of cervical cancer also can mimic certain types of infection.
About CIN - Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasm
What is CIN? CIN stands for: Cervical Intraepithelial neoplasm. Cervical neoplasia could mean other types of changes in the cervix. "Intraepithelial" within the epithelium-(membranous tissue composed of one or more layers of cells). Neoplasia means: new growth. CIN= Abnormal cells growing within the layers that cover the cervix. First thing you need to know is that CIN is not cancer. CIN means there are changes in the cells of the cervix that could be a pre-cursor to cervical cancer and does not even mean you are going to get cancer. Having CIN basically means you are a higher risk of getting cervical cancer in the future. They diagnose CIN by doing a biopsy and graded by the stage it is in. There are (3) three stages of CIN and they are as follows :
CIN Stage (I) - Mild Dysplasia which is usually treated by follow up visits, a colposcopy(a procedure to closely examine your cervix, vagina and vulva for signs of disease. During a colposcopy, your doctor uses an instrument called a colposcope)or Hpv testing more frequently due to the fact this stage can clear up on it's own without intervention.
CIN Stage (II)- Mild to moderate Dysplasia and is usually treated by removing the lesion(s) either by cryotherapy, conization, or LEEP therapy.
CIN Stage (III) - Severe Dysplasia to probable cancer (normally treated similar or same as CIN Stage II )
Hpv And Cervical Cancer
If you are sexually active and don't do anything to protect yourself, like using protection or any safeguarding, you are setting yourself at a higher risk for getting and contracting Hpv. Most statistics show that the Hpv infection is responsible for nearly almost 80 to 90 % of cervical cancers. Staying abstinent can also greatly decrease your likelihood of contracting Hpv, but of course it is not a guarantee. Abnormal vaginal spotting or bleeding such as: bleeding between periods, any bleeding after intercourse or after menopause, could be some early warning signs of cervical cancer-however; abnormal vaginal bleeding can also be caused by other conditions. Continuous vaginal discharge that is pale, pink or watery and/or any menstrual periods that are heavier than usual and/or last longer than usual, could be anything, but it's always best to get it checked right away. Early detection and early stages of cancer have the best cure rate. It's important to get pap & pelvic exams yearly.