Cervical cancer is an overgrowth of abnormal cells in the cervix. The cervix is located at the lowest point of the uterus where it meets up with the vagina.
Who Can Get Cervical Cancer?
While there are no age specifications for contraction of the disease,
the majority of cervical cancer cases are caused by the Human Papilloma
Virus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and is present in
the vagina and female reproductive organs from the first session of
unprotected intercourse with a person that has the infection. According
to the national Cancer Institute, approximately 11,000 cases of cervical
cancer will be diagnosed in 2008 alone.
Causes of Cervical Cancer
The majority of cervical cancer cases are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
The abnormal cell growth in the vagina rarely causes specific symptoms. In cases that are more advanced, the following symptoms may occur.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Change in menstrual cycle
- Bleeding during sex
- Bleeding during diaphragm insertion
- Painful intercourse
- Discharge from the vagina (may be tinted with blood)
How is Cervical Cancer Diagnosed?
Cervical cancer is diagnosed via a Pap smear. A Pap smear is a testing of the cells of the vagina for irregularities. If the Pap smear comes back positive for cancer cells, further testing will be conducted to verify the presence and severity of the cancer.
Cervical cancer is not a condition that can be treated over the counter. When being treated for cancer, the pain associated with treatment may be treated with over the counter pain medications.
Many doctors are treating cancers of all kinds from a whole body perspective. This new perspective lends to an alternative inclusion in treatment. Alternative therapies for cervical cancer will often include:
- Nutritional and dietary changes
- Botanical medicine
- Chinese medicine
- Manipulative therapy
- Environmental medicine
- Deep breathing
- Relaxation therapy
When is Medical Treatment Necessary?
Medical treatment of cancer is essential from the time of diagnosis. Cervical cancer can spread to other parts of the body and lead to death if left untreated. Most alternative therapies for cancer are used in conjunction with medical therapies.
Depending on the severity of the disease and the stage of the cancer, medical therapies will often include surgery, radiation treatments and chemotherapy. A complete hysterectomy, including removal of the cervix, is also a form of treatment for cervical cancer.