In reverence to Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, we thought we’d shed some light on the disease that was diagnosed in 11,270 women in 2009. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect a woman’s reproductive organs. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cases of cervical cancer.
When exposed to HPV, a woman’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small group of women, however, the virus survives for years before it eventually converts some cells on the surface of the cervix into cancer cells. Cervical cancer occurs most often in women over age 30. “(Mayo Clinic)
“Lack of screening is the most significant risk factor in developing this disease. It is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms, but can be found with regular Pap tests (a procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and looked at under a microscope)”, according to The National Cancer Institute).
According to CervicalCancer.org: HPV is sexually and non-sexually transmitted. There are more than 70 different types of HPV. Some researchers estimate that this number could be even higher, with up to as many as 200 different types of the virus. Women are at a higher risk than men to get infected with genital HPV. Follow the link above for more information on HPV.