Cervical cancer

Definition: Cervical Cancer is abnormal growth of the cervical cells. The cervix (the lower part of uterus).

Facts:

  • Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide.
  • HPV vaccine provides protection against the two major HPV virus types that cause 70% of all cervical cancers.
  • Regular Pap tests can prevent around 90% of cervical cancers.
  • Cervical cancer is curable when found and treated early.

Who can get cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer can affect any woman mainly between 20’s and 50’s.

What are the major risk factors?

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
  • Smoking
  • Recurrent cervical infections.
  • Family history of cervical cancer.
  • Having given birth to three or more children.
  • Using birth control pills for a long time.
  • Lack of screening

What are signs and symptoms of cervical cancer?

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during intercourse.

How to prevent cervical cancer?

  • Pap test
  • HPV test
  • HPV vaccine (starting from age of 15 years).
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat healthy
  • Be active

What is Pap test?

The Pap test is a simple test can be done by your doctor; the best time to do the test is 10-14 days of the first day of the period.

When?

  • After 3 years of marriage: first Pap test
  • After first Pap test until the age of 65 years: every 2 years.
  • After the age of 65: stop if the last 5 Pap tests are normal.

In Qatar: you can do the Pap test in primary health care center (women’s health clinic).

Note: cervical cancer often does not cause symptoms until it is advanced, so it is important to start the early detection tests regularly even when you feel healthy.