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IndexSNO Title 1 The Pap smear test – All that a Woman should know 2 Pap Smear Test Information 3 Pap Smear Test and other Alternatives 4 Spreading Cervical Cancer Awareness 5 Cervical Cancer around the World 6 Cervical Cancer - Facts to Know
1. The Pap smear test - All that a Woman should knowHealthcare experts across the globe always advocate a healthy lifestyle and an educated living.Being aware about various medical conditions as well as annually undergoing medicalexaminations is definitely the right way to lead your life. Taking care of your body is essentialbecause that is where you actually live!Women often need to undergo tests like the female body exam, pelvic exam, breast examinationand others. When it comes to the female body, one must understand that the bodily functions aremuch different from that of the male body. Besides general functions like digestions, respiration,excretions which are the same all humans, the reproductive system in men and women is verydifferent. The female body has the menstrual cycle in addition to changes in the body duringpregnancy and childbirth. Due to these many unique characteristics, women are prone to differentdiseases or medical conditions related to the vulva, cervix, ovaries and uterus and hence, thePap smear examination should be carried out to check the functioning of body organs.This is a simple medical procedure where cells from the cervix of the female’s body are collectedand studied in the laboratory. Two samples of cells are collected with the cervix brush. The cervixcells collected by insertion of a speculum into the vagina are referred to as the endo-cervicalsample and the sample of cells scraped from the sides of the cervix without entering it is calledthe ecto-cervical sample. Both samples are evaluated.According to the American Cancer Society, any woman above the age of 21 years should get thePap smear test done annually. Cervical cancer is caused by a human papillomavirus – HPV –
which is sexually transmitted. Although the possibility of suffering from cervical cancer is verylow for women who have never had a sexual intercourse, it is recommended to undertake the testsince suspicious growths or other anomalies can be inspected through this examination.Appointments for you Pap smear tests should be scheduled about 10-15 days after the lastperiod. Unless your doctor wants to check the flow, it is not recommended to get a smear donewhile menstruating. 24 -48 hours before the appointment, one must not indulge in any vaginalactivity like intercourse, use of tampons or douche. Frequently, women do not follow up onabnormal reports and this can be fatal is treatment for severe conditions is not started promptly.It is hence important to participate in getting you body tested and being keen to help youhealthcare practitioner give you the best service.2. Pap Smear Test InformationPap smear tests are the screening tests for cervical cancer or the cancer of cervix. Every womanshould get regular smear tests to live a safe and alert life. Docturs.com/dd offers detailedinformation on Pap smear tests, its causes, symptoms and treatment.The cervix is the part of the uterus (womb) and there may be abnormal growth of cells in thelining of the uterus. These cells may be cancerous or non-cancerous. The Pap test is done tocheck for cancer signs in the cervix. The procedure for Pap test includes the insertion of a specialinstrument known as speculum into the vaginal opening. It is basically used for opening thevagina wide so that the doctor can examine the cervix properly. The cervix will be cleaned with acotton swab and the cell sample is collected with a brush and a spatula or a cotton swab. Thissample is then taken on a glass slide for microscopic examination.This examination includes checking the cell from cervix – whether they have signs of changing toabnormal cells from normal cells. The cell undergoes a series of change before turning cancerousand this test can show whether the cells are actually undergoing a change, before they actuallybecome cancerous. If there is early detection, cervical cancer becomes very much treatable anddoes not remain life threatening anymore. This speaks of the importance of having regular paptests done – it is also spread by online healthcare experts.The Pap smear results, if normal, means that the cells in the cervix are normal and healthy.
Abnormal results do not mean that one is suffering from cervical cancer; it only means that thereis a change in the cells of the cervix. There may also be an experience of inflammation orirritation. This could be due to cervical yeast infection or HPV or herpes infection. These changesin the cells are called cervical dysplasia and these changes may be precancerous.One should be aware of all the risk factors for cervical cancer like starting sexual activity in earlyage, having multiple sex partners, transmission of STI (sexually transmitted infection) by sex andsmoking. STIs can make the body cells undergo changes that lead to cancer. It includesgonorrhea, Chlamydia, herpes and HPV and it can cause genital warts; these all can beassociated with the changes in cells.Craig Anderson at Docturs talks in detail about the other important facts of Papanicolaou or Papsmear test. One should be aware of the preventive measures like delaying sexual intercourse,limited sex partners and checked for infection, use of condoms and quitting smoking can help inreducing the risk.Docturs.com/dd is medical vertical offering detailed information on every medical ailment for asafe and healthy life.3. Pap Smear Test and other AlternativesPap smear test is a must for all the women as it is the ticket to a safe and alert life. It is a medicalprocedure wherein the cells or tissues from the opening of the cervix are collected for amicroscopic examination to detect cervical cancer.There have been many alternatives to Pap smear testing. A genetic HPV test is an option but ithas its downsides like it is more expensive than the regular pap smear and it tests only for HPVleaving out the cancerous and pre-cancerous cells. Mostly, all the sexually active women haveHPV infection at some point in their life but it clears up on its own and hence HPV test would alsoneed further follow-up tests for cervical lesions. It is said that, with new technologies there will be
medical products which will help in simple, self-administered tests. The smear test also hasaccuracy problems as there have been cases where the Pap smear reports have been normal foryears but women still suffered from cervical cancer. As Pap smear testing is not widely available,a low cost genetic test for HPV is advocated in the developing countries.The other common alternative to the conventional pap smear test is the liquid-based cytology,which has been reviewed as no better than pap smear for the detection of cervical cancerprecursors. In liquid-based cytology, the cervical cells are collected with a traditional samplingdevice and rinsed into a vial with preservation solution, rather than being smeared on a slide.Many trials demonstrated that this method is neither more specific, nor more sensitive than thepap smear.Another alternative which terms pap smear tests as an outdated procedure, is the CSA blood testwhich is more accurate, non-invasive and overall a better alternative. CSA is the Cervical SpecificAntigen which is the top medical news in cancer diagnostics. This method talks about drasticincrease in the early detection of cervical cancer and eradication of tumor before the cancermetastasizes and thus save lives. It would be cost-effective and presently, it is the only test whichhelps to monitor therapy efficacy. The working of this test is that it detects the molecule thatparticipates in the growth of cervical cancer as those patients have relatively higher numbers.Medical research indicates that molecular levels drop to near normal range after therapy untilthere is recurrent disease or metastasis. This test can replace pap smear as a screening tool infuture as it is gaining recognition in the laboratory industry and medical community. Theunfortunate areas where pap smear is unavailable or unacceptable, CSA could be the life-saver.With the advancing technologies, pap smear test would soon be substituted by more easier andaccessible techniques.4. Spreading Cervical Cancer AwarenessCervical cancer is widely known as the second most common cancer among women. Fred Lewisat Docturs.com/dd informs that according to a survey, only 40% of American women had heard ofhuman papillomavirus (HPV) infection and only 20% had heard of its link to cervical cancer. Thisshows the awareness about cervical cancer and its consequences. Docturs.com offers detailedinformation on cervical cancer for the spread of its awareness.The history of cervical cancer can be traced back to 400 BCE when Hippocrates said that it wasincurable and in 1928, pap smear tests were introduce to screen for cervical cancer. The firstHPV vaccine was approved by FDA in 2006 and epidemiologists working in the early 20th centurynoted that cervical cancer behaved like a sexually transmitted disease. The truth about cervicalcancer was discovered gradually and today, it can be cured if the tumor is benign and it has notmetastasized.The prevention of cervical cancer is possible by following a healthy lifestyle with proper nutritionintake, regular exercise, safety and hygiene, avoiding stress, balancing careers and social life,using barrier contraceptives and having a safe sex life with monogamous relationship and HPVvaccination. ‘Prevention is better than cure’, but if cervical cancer is not prevented, it can betreated through radiation therapy, surgery or chemotherapy.Health news talk about cervical cancer being the most preventable cancer, now that pap smearshave been introduced to be taken regularly, so that it can be detected in early stages and can becured. The numbers have dropped drastically over the past 20 years, with the spread ofawareness, but it is also true that still, over 9,000 women in the U.S. develop cervical cancerevery year.
The risk of cervical cancer can be reduced in many ways like getting regular pap smears todetect early cervical changes, having sex with one partner so that there is no risk of developingHPV and avoid smoking – because if it is combined with HPV infection, it can accelerate cervicaldysplasia. There is always a risk of HIV if one is not practicing safe sex using condoms and itincreases the risk of developing cervical cancer, follow-up on abnormal Pap test result orcolposcopy result is also important as dysplasia can recur, and if it remains undetected, can turninto cervical cancer. Getting HPV vaccine before the age of 27 prevents high risk strains andvaccines are most effective when given to young girls before they become sexually active. Thereis also one HPV vaccine which is approved by FDA to give to young girls at the age of 9.Dennis Frederick at Docturs talks about the detailed symptoms, causes and treatment of cervicalcancer for a better awareness and a safe and alert life. Docturs is medical vertical offeringdetailed information on every medical topic for health and wellness.5. Cervical Cancer - Facts to KnowCervical cancer number is increasing by the day and there are many researches being done onhow it can be prevented and also cured fully. Docturs.com/dd offers detailed information on thecauses, symptoms and treatment of cervical cancer.The recent medical news about cervical cancer has been that there have been 19% more earlycervical cancer diagnoses recently. There has recently been an increase in the awarenessamong young women and the diagnoses of an early form of cervical cancer which has risen by afifth.The numbers revealed by the Office for National Statistics are 27,438 cases of carcinoma in situof cervix uteri in 2008, which, if left untreated, can turn malignant. The statistics show a rise of19.2% on the 23,023 cases of 2008 majorly in the age group of 15-19 year-old girls and 25-29year old women. The levels of screening and diagnosis have improved recently. All in all, the
diagnosis numbers went up by 5.1% among men and 2.6% among women in 2009 and theserates remained relatively stable in the last decade.The most commonly found tumors are prostate, lung and colorectal among men and breast, lungand colorectal among women. This increase may be due improvement in the data collectionmethods of the cancer registries and ascertainment of cases due to screening programs. The19% annual increase is in the number of women who are diagnosed with serious cell changesthat can lead to cervical cancer.Docturs.com also talks about various cervical cancer facts like the causes and complications forthe disease have been identified and include HPV infection by multiple sexual partners, engagingin early sexual contact, smoking, taking birth control pills etc. Another fact is that the cause of thiscancer, HPV infection may cause cervical dysplasia or abnormal growth of cervical cells. Thesecancerous changes in cells of the cervix can be detected by regular pelvic exams and paptesting. The prognosis of cervical cancer depends upon the stage and type of cervical cancer andthe tumor size. These changes may be treated with cryosurgery, cauterization, or laser surgery.The most common symptoms are pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding. The stage of cancer can bedetermined by many tests like MRI, chest X-rays, PET scan or CT scan. The treatment caninclude chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery.One should be very much aware of the facts and new developments in such medical fields.Docturs.com/dd is medical vertical offering information about every medical ailment for a betterand healthy living.6. Cervical Cancer around the WorldCervical cancer is on rise not only in U.S. but also in other parts around the world. Cervicalcancer is the third most common cancer in women and is soon expected to be a national disease!Docturs.com/dd offers detailed explanation on what is cervical cancer and the facts associatedwith it.
The latest medical news being reported is the death of a teenager after receiving a cervicalcancer vaccination. Though the precise cause of the death remains unknown, it is said that thegirl had suffered a "rare but extreme reaction" after being given the vaccine. There can also beother mild side-effects like dizziness and nausea.The number of women diagnosed annually is around 3000 out of which, cervical cancer isresponsible of 1000 deaths in Britain each year. Britain introduced a national program for theimmunization of schoolgirls against cervical cancer offering the vaccine before they becomesexually active. But it has been very controversial as it is claimed that the treatment wouldencourage more teenagers to engage in sexual activity.On the other side of the world, in Bangkok, there have been discussions about starting a free-of-charge vaccination program and make the drug accessible. It is seen that 5,000-6,000 womenper year die from cervical cancer - or about 18 women per day. It was discussed that thereshould be a review of the effectiveness and efficiency of the current anti-cervical cancervaccination program because currently, only girls from well-to-do families were able to afford thevaccine. In Thailand, some 400,000 teenagers are in need of vaccinations. The Royal College ofPediatricians of Thailand and the Thai Gynecologic Cancer Society suggest that free vaccinationswould help prevent up to 3,500 deaths a year and save billions of baht (currency) in annualtreatment costs. The govt. would also be able to negotiate with vaccine producers for lower pricesby ordering in quantity on a national basis.It is hence suggested that women who have not had the vaccine should submit to regularscreenings or Pap smear tests, considered the most effective method for checking for cervicalcancer symptoms.Nigeria, in the part of the world, is also facing a serious cervical cancer challenge. Cervicalcancer is the second most common cancer in women, after breast cancer, especially amongthose between 15 and 44 years of age, in Nigeria, and is on a rise. The mass is ignorant that thisailment is very much preventable as well as treatable in case of early detection.Docturs.com/dd is medical vertical aiming to spread awareness worldwide for a healthy world.