Cervical cancer: An alarming condition to women among the developing countries like Bangladesh.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in low-income countries like Bangladesh accounting for 23% of all cancers respectively (Parkin et all, 2008). Fortunately, adequate screening can identify these cancers at early stages where treatment regimens are effective and cheaper (Mittra I, 2011). Unfortunately, cancer screening rates are very low in developing countries. Only 19% of women were screened for cervical cancer compared in developing countries to 60% in developed countries (Gakidou, Nordhagen, Obermeyer, 2008). In Bangladesh, for example, less than 1% of women ages 25 to 64 years had received a Pap test, screening test of carcinoma cervix, in the past 3 years (McKinnon, Harper, Moore, 2011). It is therefore very important to understand the factors that affect cancer screening in order to develop programs and to make it easier for women to get aware in both rural and urban areas.
Cervical cancer is cancer that affects the cervix: the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina. Moreover, it is the third most common type of cancer in women(McKinnon, Harper,& Moore ,2011). Cervical cancer usually grows slowly as a precancerous condition .This condition can be determined by a Pap smear and fortunately, it is 100% treatable. It can take years for these changes to turn into a cancer of the genital tract(McKinnon et al. 2011). Most women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer today have not had regular Pap smear's test et al(McKinnon. 2011). Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV (human papilloma virus). HPV is a common virus that is transmitted by sexual intercourse. A woman's sexual habits and patterns can increase her risk of developing cervical cancer(McKinnon et al. 2011). Risky sexual practices include: Having sex at an early age, not getting the HPV vaccine, poor hygiene, women whose mothers took the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol) during pregnancy in the early 1960s to prevent miscarriage, weakened immune system (McKinnon et al. 2011).
Cervical cancer may spread to the bladder, intestines, lungs, and liver. Often there are no problems until the cancer is advanced and has spread. Symptoms of advanced cervical cancer may include back pain, bone pain or fractures, fatigue, leaking of urine or feces from the vagina, leg pain, loss of appetite, pelvic pain, single swollen leg, weight loss,etc(McKinnon et al. 2011).
Precancerous changes of the cervix and cervical cancer cannot be seen with the naked eye. Special tests and tools are needed to spot such conditions.
Cervical cancer can be prevented by getting the HPV vaccine .(Two types of vaccines are approved: Gardasil and Cervarix), practicing safer sex, using condoms during sex reduces the risk of HPV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), limiting the number of sexual partners you have, avoiding partners who are active in high-risk sex, getting regular Pap smears as often as your health care provider recommends. Pap smears can help detect early changes, which can be treated before they turn into cervical cancer. Smoking increases your chance of getting cervical cancer. So , we should make awareness among each individuals in the society to get rid of this life threatening disease, because, it is east to screen and 100% curable, if detected in earlier stage. (McKinnon et al. 2011)
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