Ceervical Cancer: Treatments Of The Future

Submitted By Tash6255
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Cervical Cancer: Treatments of the Future 1

Cervical Cancer: Treatments of the Future 2

On July 25, 2008 I received a phone call that I will never forget. My best friend Jenn was on the other end sobbing hysterically that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cervical Cancer stemming from HPV which she was diagnosed with about a year earlier, her doctor was concerned with her abnormal cells and began running a series of tests. On January 3, 2009 I received another call from my friend Jacky that she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cervical Cancer stemming from a molar pregnancy. Two beautiful smart young girls diagnosed with the same thing both from different causes. So many questions ran through my mind; What is Cervical Cancer and How could something like Cervical Cancer happen to my friends? How could they have prevented it? And is there anything they can do to get rid of it? Are they going to die? Can I get it? Is there anything I can do to prevent myself from getting it? What is Cervical Cancer? Cervical cancer is malignant neoplasm of the cervix uteri or cervical area. It may present with vaginal bleeding, but symptoms may be absent until the cancer is in its advanced stages. Treatment consists of surgery in early stages and chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced stages of the disease. Pap smear screening can identify potentially precancerous changes. Treatment of high grade changes can prevent the development of cancer. In developed countries, the widespread use of cervical screening programs has reduced the incidence of invasive cervical cancer by 50% or more. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a necessary factor in the development of almost all cases of cervical cancer. HPV vaccines effective against the two strains of HPV that currently cause approximately 70% of cervical cancer have been licensed in the U.S, Canada, Australia and the EU. Since the vaccines only cover some of the cancer causing ("high-risk") types of HPV, women should seek regular Pap smear screening, even after vaccination. (1,3, 5) The early stages of cervical cancer may be completely asymptomatic. Vaginal bleeding, contact bleeding or (rarely) a vaginal mass may indicate the
Cervical Cancer: Treatments of the Future 3 presence of malignancy. Also, moderate pain during sexual intercourse and vaginal discharge are symptoms of cervical cancer. In advanced disease, metastases may be present in the abdomen, lungs or elsewhere. Symptoms of advanced cervical cancer may include: loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, pelvic pain, back pain, leg pain, single swollen leg, heavy bleeding from the vagina, leaking of urine or feces from the vagina, and bone fractures.(2)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection with high-risk types has been shown to be a necessary factor in the development of cervical cancer. HPV DNA may be detected in virtually all cases of cervical cancer. Not all of the causes of cervical cancer are known. Several other contributing factors have been implicated. The American Cancer Society provides the following list of risk factors for cervical cancer: human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, smoking, HIV infection, Chlamydia infection, stress and stress-related disorders, dietary factors, hormonal contraception, multiple pregnancies, exposure to the hormonal drug diethylstilbestrol and a family history of cervical cancer. There is a possible genetic risk associated with HLA-B7. There has not been any definitive evidence to support the claim that circumcision of the male partner reduces the risk of cervical cancer, although some researchers say there is compelling epidemiological evidence that men who have been circumcised are less likely to be infected with HPV. However, in men with low-risk sexual behavior and monogamous female partners, circumcision makes no difference to the risk of cervical cancer. (3,5,7)
There are many new treatments being