The Madison County Health Department would like to highlight issues related to the cervical cancer during Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
The Department says that Pap test helps saving lives of many women. If detected early, cervical cancer can be treated absolutely.
Cervical cancer: malignant cancer of the cervix or cervical area. It may present with vaginal bleeding but symptoms may be absent until the cancer is in its advanced stages, which has made cervical cancer the focus of intense screening efforts using the Pap smear. In developed countries, the widespread use of cervical screening programs has reduced the incidence of invasive cervical cancer by 50% or more.
Treatment consists of surgery (including local excision) in early stages and chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced stages of the disease. An effective HPV vaccine against the two most common cancer-causing strains of HPV has recently been licensed in the U.S. (see Vaccine section, below). These two HPV strains together are responsible for approximately 70% of all cervical cancers. Experts recommend that women combine the benefits of both programs by seeking regular Pap smear screening, even after vaccination.