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Cervical Cancer: Possible Reasons, Risks and Treatment Strategies

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Abstract

This essay will be providing an explanation of what CC is, the causes, treatments, and other related information. Cervical Cancer (CC) is a common sort of cancer in women. CC is a disease of the cervix that causes thousands of death. The main cause of CC is a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) which is caught through sexual contact. There are a variety of risk factors for CC but there are ways to prevent them. Signs and symptoms of CC are difficult to notice because it may take years for the cervical cells to transform into irregular cells. If the cancer is caught early, the survival rate for CC is extremely high. Unfortunately, when the cancer spread outside of the uterus, the survival chances are low. In conclusion, depending on the stage of CC, it can either be easy to cure, or even impossible to cure.

Keywords: cervical, cancer, disease, women, human papillomavirus

Cervical Cancer

Cancer is a disease caused by an uncontrollable division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. Cervical cancer (CC) is a cancer that spreads in the cervix, and is one of the most common type of cancer that occur only in women younger than fifty years old. The cervix is located in the underlying part of the uterus (the womb), where it is attached to the vaginal wall. The two main types of cells covering the cervix are called squamous cells and glandular cells. These type of cells may advance in squamous cell carcinoma (cancer of the squamous cell) or adenocarcinoma (cancer of glandular cells). Squamous cell are cells that are located on the outer part of the cervix. Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that is slow in developing, it takes approximately three to five years to be fully developed and adenocarcinoma is a cancerous growth that arises from glands cells, which can spread quickly outside of the uterus.

Etiology

A risk factor is a characteristic or an exposure that increases a chance of developing a disease, or an injury. There are several risk factors that can increase the development of CC, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia infection, smoking, obesity, immunosuppression, a low diet in vegetables and fruits, long-term use of oral contraceptives (birth control), having multiple full-term pregnancies, being pregnant younger than seventeen years old, poverty, and having a family history of cervical cancer.

HPV is a virus that spreads through sexual intercourse, and is mostly the main cause of CC. Some woman who is infected with HPV do not have CC. 16 and 18 HPV group type is responsible for most development of CC. The human body can cure the virus on its own, nonetheless, if the virus does not fade away then it will become life threatening. Unfortunately, there is no particular cure for HPV infection but there are methods that can treat abnormal cells that are caused by HPV infection.

Chlamydia infection is a type of bacteria that can spread through the reproductive system. It is usually spread through sexual intimacy. This type of infection can cause the inflammation of the pelvic, which leads to infertility. According to (American Cancer Society , 2015), women whose blood test results shows evidence of chlamydia infection compared with other women who do not have chlamydia infection has higher risk of CC. There are no symptoms of chlamydia, in fact, women may not know if they have chlamydia at all unless they are tested.

Cigarettes are harmful substances that releases chemicals into the circulatory system. These substances can impair the DNA of cervix cells and later on develop CC, thus, making the immune system harder to battle HPV infection. Women who smokes tends to have higher risk of having CC than women who choose not to smoke.

Another risk factor is obesity. Obesity is a problem in which a person has an unusual high body mass index (BMI). Women who are overweight will likely develop adenocarcinoma of the cervix. According to the National Cancer Institute, obese women has an increasing number of two to four times getting cancer than women who are not overweight, but it is not clearly stated why being overweight is a risk factor.

Human immunosuppression virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency (AIDS), it can greatly be a destruction for the immune system and causes higher risk of HPV infections. The immune system is extremely important because it assist the body in killing cancerous cells and also decreases the growth and spread of cancer. Women with HIV with a cervical pre-cancer have higher chance of developing an invasive cancer in a short period of time.

Having low diet in fruits and vegetables can easily become vulnerable to infections, however, it is not a risk factor of developing cervical cells. High diet in antioxidants, flavonoids, folate, and carotenoids can be useful to help fight against HPV infection and prevent normal cells of the cervix into cancerous lesions.

A long use of contraceptives (birth control pills) can increase the chance of having CC but it will decrease the risk if the pills are taken less. The hormones in contraceptive pills may transform cervical cells into HPV infection which can affect the capability to clear out the infection, or make it even easier for HPV infection to cause changes that can advance to CC.

Women who have at least three or more full-term pregnancies have a higher risk of developing CC. There are ideas to explain this particular statement. One of the theory is that some women have unprotected intercourse to become pregnant, so that may have been the reason of catching HPV. Secondly, some studies implies that hormonal changes during pregnancy is more vulnerable to HPV infection or cancer development. Lastly, women who are pregnant might have weaker immune systems which can easily allow the growth of cancer and HPV infection to rule. According to (American Cancer Society , 2015) being pregnant younger than seventeen years of age increases a higher chance of CC because young adults are two times more likely to get CC later on in life than women who waited to have children until the age of twenty-five years or older.

Poverty can also be a risk factor in development of CC because low-income women are not able to provide medical services such as getting screened for pre-cancers due to financial problems.

Finally, if CC runs within family members including sisters or mother, the chance of developing CC can be greater than other female family members who do not have it. In conclusion, it is important to avoid exposure to HPV, STDs, and second hand smoking. Getting screened for CC regularly, not smoking, taking less oral contraceptives, having healthy diet in fruits, and vegetables can greatly decrease the chance of having CC.

Description of the Disease1

Cervical cancer (CC) used to be one of the most common cause of death in women. However, death rate decreased by more than fifty percent during the last thirty years. The reason is because Pap smears are frequently used more than back in the day. Doctors scrape small samples of cervical cells in order to indicate whether the cell is abnormal or normal. Females who live in less developed country tend to get CC more than ones who lives in better and developed country. For example, in the United States of America, Hispanic women tend to get CC more than African-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Asian women. But American Indians, and Alaskan natives are less likely to get cervical cancer.

CC usually appears during midlife of a woman. CC develop in women younger than the age of fifty years old and hardly affect in females under than the age of twenty. Fifteen percent of CC cases are typically found in women older than sixty-five years old. CC rarely develop in women who examine for cancer regularly but can also be mistaken for infection or other type diseases.

Back in the day CC was the main cause of death in women in the United States. In 1950, Pap smear was introduced and resulted in a decreasing number of CC. In present day, there are eighty percent cases of cancer of the cervix and 300,000 deaths worldwide. In this case, cancer of the cervix is the third common disease worldwide and the second most accountable cause of death in women. Between the years of 1955 and 1992 CC cases and death percentages is reduced by more than sixty percent (Chasan & Manrow, 2013). In 2015, an estimated case of CC will be about 19,900 and 4,100 women will die from this deadly disease.

Abnormal cells in cervical cells takes about ten to fifteen years and later on turn into cancer. Symptoms do not usually appear when the tumor is tiny but when it enlarges one of the first symptoms includes bleeding between periods. Along with bleeding after intercourse, irregular discharge that is strong and repugnant, and monthly menstrual that becomes heavier and last longer than the usual. The advanced symptoms of CC includes bone pain, back pain, bone fractures, extreme fatigue, urine that leaks, loss of appetite, swollenness, and weight loss. But these symptoms may not appear years and years later, which is why it is incredibly important to get checked up with a gynecologist regularly, gynecologists’ deals with diseases and other physical care of the reproductive organ. This will increase the chance of catching CC early for treatment.

Stages. Staging is defined as how far the cancer has spread throughout the organs. Cervical cancer (CC) is staged into different types of group. The stages are categorized with roman numerals from I to IV and it is sub-staged by alphabets and numbers. In stage 0, cancerous cells are located primarily on the uppermost layer of the cervix. This particular stage is known as carcinoma in situ (CIS). In Stage I, the cancer have developed into the cervix. It have not yet spread within the reach of the lymph nodes. Stage IA1 and IA2 is also considered the earliest form of stage I, it is consist with small portion of cancer and can only be viewed with a microscopic tool. In stage IA1, the length of the cancer is approximately less than three millimeter deep and less than seven millimeter wide and in stage IA2 the cancer is about less than three millimeter and 7 millimeter wide. IB contains stage I cancers that can be visibly seen without having to use a microscope and microscopic cancerous cells that may have spread more than five millimeter deep into the tissue of the cervix. In stage II, the growth of the cancer is reached passed the womb and the cervix, however, it has not yet scattered to the walls of the lowermost part of the vaginal. In stage IIA, the tissue next to the cervix called parametria has not been spread out but cancer may develop into the superior part of the vagina. In stage III, the cancer has already been spread out to the wall of the pelvis which results in the blockage of the ureters, a duct that passes urine from the kidney to the bladder. Lastly, stage IV is the most extreme and deadliest of all stages of CC. This stage has affected organs and some part of the body. Cancer cells has spread throughout the bladder which is located near the cervix, and distant organs beyond the pelvic region such as the lungs and liver.

Preventions and Treatments. Preventions against cervical cancer (CC) includes Pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, avoiding exposure to HPV, getting HPV vaccine which includes Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix. Avoiding having more than one sex partner, and having a safe sexual intimacy with another person is also important. It is suggested that females that reaches age twenty-one should be examined up to every three years. (Movva, 2015)

Pap smear is a test that screens for CC. This procedure includes the scraping of cells from the opening of the cervix. It must be examined under a microscope in order to know whether the cells are normal or abnormal. According to (American Accreditation HealthCare Commission , 2014), Pap smear test is not always one-hundred percent correct. In some cases, CC may be mistaken for some other type of infection or is missed. If the test appears to be abnormal, doctors will most likely schedule an appointment to test for HPV infection because this type of virus is the main cause of CC. HPV causes warts, and cancers including male and female reproductive organs, and the oropharynx which is the back of the throat and tonsils. The (National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, 2014) stated that CC screening is currently the only routine screening for HPV infection. Why? Because HPV is the main cause of CC. It is advised that women the age of 30 years and older get tested for HPV the same time as they received their Pap test. These test are different from one another because HPV test merely checks for viruses that can be the source of cell changes whilst a Pap test assist on finding cell changes on the cervix. HPV vaccines includes Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix. These vaccines are sorted according to the ages for example, Gardasil 9 is mainly for female ages ranging from nine to twenty-six years old and males from ages to nine and fifteen. (National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, 2014) This type of vaccine can prevent cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancer caused by HPV infection. Gardasil protect against certain types of HPV which cause seventy percent of cervical cancers. Cervarix vaccine helps fight against two main type of HPV (16 and 18) that causes CC. Finally, using protection can’t always protect against HPV infection because an exposed area can be transmitted unknowingly but it is also important to use protection while have intimacy with a partner. It is a great risk to have more than one sexual partner because their partner may be infected with STDs or even HPV infection. That is why it is extremely important to prevent these things from happening. Getting checked for an HPV infection, regular Pap smear testing, protecting yourself from STDs can be a key factor of having low risk of CC.

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GradesFixer. (2019, January, 03) Cervical Cancer: Possible Reasons, Risks and Treatment Strategies. Retrived April 20, 2019, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/cervical-cancer-possible-reasons-risks-and-treatment-strategies/
"Cervical Cancer: Possible Reasons, Risks and Treatment Strategies." GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/cervical-cancer-possible-reasons-risks-and-treatment-strategies/. Accessed 20 April 2019.
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