A Brief Note On Cervical Cancer

Submitted By tschaufenbuel
Words: 2035
Pages: 9

Cervical Cancer

After waiting what seemed like an eternity, the doctor came back into the room and gave me the news. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t imagine it could be this bad. How could it be, I’m so young, I’m only 28 and I have my whole life ahead of me. And my kids, what about my kids? Connor is just 8 and Dayna is just 5. Who’s going to take care of them? I can’t be sick; I don’t have time to be sick. We have school work, and dance, and cub scouts, and the holidays are coming. Our lives pretty much stopped for the next 6 to 9 months. I remember when my mom was diagnosed. All I could think about was that she was going to die because no one ever survived cancer. I remember going to the hospital after she had her surgery. I remember thinking maybe she would be better off if she did die because she was in so much pain. She had no color in her face, she was so pale and her skin felt so cold. She could barely move in her bed and she tried to act so excited to see me and make me feel like it was all going to be ok. As a thirteen year old I was freaking out, what was this going to do to an 8 year old and a 5 year old? How could they possibly understand what was going on? What was I going to tell them? How were we ever going to get through this? What if we don’t get through this? And what exactly is cervical cancer anyway? According to the World Health Organization at least 200,000 women worldwide die of cervical cancer every year. This may not seem very important to some of you but just remember, it could be your mother, your sister, your daughter, your wife, your girlfriend, or even your best friend. It is the third most common type of cancer in women. The numbers in the United States are much lower now than in previous years due to routine exams that women now receive. (New York Times, 2010) Statistics may be improving but losing one life to cancer is too many. Cervical cancer is cancer of the entrance to the uterus. It starts in the cells on the surface of the cervix. Cervical cancer normally develops very slowly. In the beginning it is precancerous and is called dysplasia. If it is caught in the early stages it is fairly easy to treat. It can take years for dysplasia to turn into cervical cancer and sometimes in clears up on its own and never amounts to anything. There are two major types of cervical cancer; Extocervix (squamous cell carcinoma), and Endocervix (glandular cell adenocarcinoma). Ectovcervical cancer happens in the squamous or flattened epithelial cells that line the cervix. About 69% of all cervical cancers are of this type. Endocervical cancer develops from mucus-producing gland cells. It accounts for about 25% of all cervical cancers. Other rarer types of cancers make up the remaining 6 %. (New York Times, 2010) Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). About 99.7% of cervical cancers are caused by persistent infection with a high-risk type of HPV. There are around 15 high-risk (ocogenic) types of HPV, with just two types 16 and 18 that are responsible for about percent of all cervical cancers. HPV is most commonly spread from one person to another through sexual activity, but it can also be spread without sex, by skin–to-skin contact with an area of the body that is infected with HPV. (Resources for Health Professionals, 2012) Cancer is the result of the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells. Most of the cells in out body have a set lifespan; when they die new cells are produced to replace them. Abnormal cells have two problems, first, they don’t die like normal cells do and second, they continue to divide and multiply. The result of an excessive accumulation of abnormal cells can cause a lump or tumor. (Medical News today, 2009) There are many factors that have been found to increase the risk of developing cervical cancer, either by increasing the risk of HPV infection or by increasing the chances of developing