The Teal and White of Cervical Cancer

Teal and white are the colors for Cervical Cancer. This is probably the easiest of all gynecological cancers to detect because a simple PAP smear can catch the symptoms of this disease.

Worldwide, this is the third most common cancer among women. There are two types of cells on the cervix surface: squamous and columnar. The majority of cervical cancers are from squamous cells. The development of cervical cancer is slow and most of the time, a human papillomavurus is the culprit. Risk factors for this disease include: having sex at an early age, having multiple sex partners, sexual partners who have multiple partners or who participate in high-risk sexual activities, women whose mothers took the drug DES (Diethlstilbestril) during pregnancy in the early 1970's to prevent miscarriage, long-term use of birth control pills (More than 5 years), a weakened immune system, infections with genital herpes or chronic Chlamydia infections or poor economic status that may not allow the woman to afford a yearly PAP smear.

Most of the time cervical cancer does not have symptoms, but may include: loss of appetite; weight loss; fatigue; pelvic pain; back pain; leg pain; single swollen leg; heavy bleeding from the vagina; leaking of urine or feces from the vagina or bone fractures.

I would like to thank the MedLine Plus Medical Encyclopedia for the above information, for without information, than we are lost in the forest of ignorance.

I encourage every woman in the world to not only read my columns, but research these diseases on their own. For the more information you know, the more questions you can ask your doctor. For these diseases can only be found by your doctor and if you do not have a good line of communication with your doctor, then how are you to know if you have one of these silent killers unless you have a PAP that comes back as abnormal.

And studies show that women with abnormalities in their PAP do not follow up with their doctors. Learn what the signs are, and learn what the risk factors are. Protect yourself. You are your own advocate.

I can sit here at my computer and spit statistic after statistic at you, but unless you take matters into your own hands, you will never get my words of warnings. Attend health fairs, write to the American Cancer Society, go to www.ovarian.org. Educate yourself. That I cannot stress enough.

Without education, you are walking in the dark my friend.


Published on August 11, 2006 in