Get to know the symptoms and how to prevent cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is cancer that grows in cells in the cervix. This cancer generally develops slowly and only shows symptoms when it has entered an advanced stage. The cervix or cervix has a function as a place to protect the uterus from bacteria and foreign objects from outside, and functions to produce mucus which helps channel sperm from the vagina to the uterus during sexual intercourse. Cervical cancer or cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. Based on research in 2020, there are more than 600,000 cases of cervical cancer with 342,000 deaths worldwide. In Indonesia, cervical cancer ranks second after breast cancer as the most common type of cancer of all cancer cases in 2020. There have been more than 36,000 cases and 21,000 deaths from this cancer.
The cause of cervical cancer itself involves several factors, namely:
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. This viral infection is very susceptible to targeting individuals who have sexual intercourse with multiple partners. High-risk sexual behavior, such as unprotected sex or sharing unwashed sex toys, can also increase the risk. In addition, women who have never received the HPV vaccine (immunization) are also more at risk of infection with HPV, which can cause this cancer.
Following are the symptoms of cervical cancer that you need to pay attention to:
1. Vaginal bleeding, which is especially extreme between menstrual cycles and bleeding after menopause, can be a sign and symptom of cervical cancer.
2. Bleeding during sexual intercourse: if contact or touching during sexual intercourse causes bleeding or even heavy vaginal discharge, then it could be a sign of cervical cancer.
3. Unusual vaginal discharge: other symptoms of cervical cancer include vaginal discharge that changes color, has an unpleasant odor, and changes in the texture and consistency of the vagina.
4. Increased frequency of urination Pain when urinating and being unable to hold back the urge to urinate are also symptoms of cervical cancer. This condition is usually caused by cancer cells that grow around the cervix and then spread to the bladder.
5. Easily tired This condition occurs due to abnormal bleeding in the vagina, so that over time the body experiences a shortage of red blood cells, or anemia, which causes a feeling of fatigue.
Cervical cancer prevention efforts:
1. Healthy lifestyle (maintained nutrition, exercise, not smoking)
2. Do not change sexual partners.
3. Keeping the genital area clean
4. HPV vaccine
5. Early detection through routine pap smears and IVA
If you have some of the symptoms of cervical cancer that last for several weeks or get worse, see a doctor immediately. Do not consider this condition trivial, because many people with it can recover if they get an examination as early as possible. Proper handling can minimize the consequences so that the doctor can do the treatment faster.