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Preventing Cervical Cancer Through Hpv Vaccinations

1123 words - 5 pages

Cervical Cancer is the second most common cancer for women yet it is the most common cancer of the reproductive system. According to the CDC in 2010 11,818 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3,939 women in the United States died from cervical cancer. The most common type is squamous cell carcinoma. Human papilloma virus, otherwise known as HPV, is known to cause cervical abnormalities and has been linked to cervical cancer.
Some signs and symptoms of cervical cancer are abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge and pelvic pain and pressure. Cervical cancer is preventable with regular screening tests. One test is a Pap test sometimes also called a Pap smear. This test looks for precancerous cells that may if not treated lead to cervical cancer. Pap tests should be performed on all women 21 to 65 years old. According to Fundamentals of Nursing, screenings should begin 3 years after having vaginal sex but no later than 21. There should be an annual pelvic examination along with a Pap test. After the age of 30 if a woman has had 3 consecutive normal tests they can be screened every one to three years. If there are any risk factors screenings should continue more frequently. (Potter-Perry, 2013) These only tests for cervical cancer, it does not screen for other gynecological cancers. Pap tests if negative only need to be repeated once every three years. Preparation for a pap smear includes no douching, no tampons, no sex, no birth control creams, foams or jelly and no medicinal cream in the vagina. Pap test results can take upwards of three weeks. Sometimes there are false positive therefore if you have a positive result it does not definitely mean you have cancer. The standard test once abnormal cells are found is a colposcopy and biopsy. Colposcopy is a magnification of the cervix to help separate the cervical cells from normal cells. Once differentiated biopsies are taken of the abnormal patterns. If precancerous cells are found or if any abnormal cells are found there are many treatments that can prevent cervical cancer from ever happening. If cervical cancer is found treatment will be dependent on the type of cervical cancer and the stage of the cancer. There is a surgical treatment which is where the cancerous tissue is removed, such as by a hysterectomy, Chemotherapy to slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells. Lastly, there is radiation treatment to kill the cells and control the spreading of the cancer. These options can be used independently or altogether. There are constantly new treatments becoming available and sometimes a patient can be able to become part of this new treatment through clinical trials. The second test which can be done concurrently with the Pap test is the HPV test.
There are upwards of forty types of HPV. Along with the genital areas HPV can infect the mouth and throat. HPV can cause genital warts and cancer. It can sometimes go away by itself and...

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