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Learning About Cervical Cancer by:Ingrid Tiessen

Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women worldwide

. It is also one of the most preventable types of cancer.

Cervical cell changes are often caused by a sexually transmitted virus called the human papilloma virus or 'HPV'. Most HPV infections will clear on their own once the immune system has dealt with it,and not lead to cervical cancer. Often, a woman infected with HPV will never know that she has been infected.

When a woman goes for her annual Pap test, the changes in the cervix are detected. A doctor is not usually alarmed by slight changes, as this can be caused by irritation or inflammation of the cervix, and will recommend retesting in 6 months. If, however, the changes do not revert back to normal, further testing is required to deal with possible precancerous tissue.

As long as regular testing is done, precancerous cells can be removed usually with no long term problems for the patient. Thankfully, truly invasive cervical cancer takes years to develop, but it is best to have it treated as soon as possible for peace of mind, and to avoid complications down the road. Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms, as they may be a symptom of cervical changes or cancer:

- Vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse

- Pelvic pain

- Pain during sexual intercourse

- Unusual vaginal discharge

- Abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods

- Heavy bleeding during your menstrual period

- Increased urinary frequency

About the author

Ingrid Tiessen writes about health and lifestyle issues, and has undergone treatment for cervical dysplasia.

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Learning About Cervical Cancer by:Ingrid Tiessen