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Name: Debbie 

Period: 6 
Date: 03-06-2018 
Reproductive Disorders-Cervical Cancer  

Known as the “silent killer”, cervical cancer affects women of all ages internationally.

According to the​ National Foundation for Cancer Research​, more than 4,000 women have died

from it and an estimated 13,000 were diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States. All the

given topics were fascinating to research on. However, from my perspective, I think Cervical

Cancer is the most severe disorder for the women of America and any other countries where the

women may suffer from it - which is why I decided to research and write about this topic.

Cervical cancer, the disease, is one of the most preventable and treatable diseases, yet it has

claimed thousands of women’s lives.

What is Cervical Cancer? Cervical Cancer is a stage of cancer that forms in the cell of the

cervix, which is located in the lower part of the uterus. Cervical cancer is a disease that occurs

when the cells of the cervix divide uncontrollably and abnormally, destroying the tissue around

the cervix. It is usually a result of an infection of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is

transmitted during sexual intercourse ( ​​ ). There are two types of Cervical

Cancers: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Up to 9 out of 10 of cervical cancers are

squamous cell carcinomas. The other type of cervical cancer, adenocarcinomas, develops from

cancerous gland cells. In a minor case or an early stage of Cervical Cancer, there will be little

damage at the lining of the cervix. However, in a worse situation, it could spread to the vagina,

uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries (including the bladder, urethra, rectum, and anus). All of the

reproductive structures mentioned above are important; they all help to either produce egg cells

for reproduction, or to protect as well as nourish the offspring until birth. To be more detailed,

the function of the cervix is to allow menstrual blood from the uterus to flow into the vagina and

out of the body, and to direct the sperm cells into the uterus; the role of the vagina is to connect

to the uterus, and to help direct menstrual blood out of the body; the main job of the uterus is to

nourish the fetus prior to birth; the main function of the Fallopian tubes is to help transport the

eggs from the ovary to the uterus; and the role of the ovaries is to make the female egg cells for

reproduction. When the cancerous cells become invasive and devastating, these organs might get

too damaged to function. In this case, a surgical removal on the infected parts will be done.

However, this surgery may cause the affected woman to lose the ability to bear a child.

According to the ​World Health Organization​ , approximately 90% of the 270,000 deaths

(from cervical cancer in 2015) occurred in countries with low or simply average income. This is

mainly because screening programmes are not available in developing or non-developed

countries. In other words, these groups of people do not have access to effective treatment and

are not likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer at an early stage. In recent years, an estimated

of 12,820 women in the United States were diagnosed with ​cervical cancer​. Additionally, in

America, Hispanic women are twice as likely to have cervical cancer, and 1.5 times more likely

to die from cervical cancer compared to non-Hispanic American women. The graph below shows

that in 2014, Hispanic women had the highest rate of getting cervical cancer, followed by black,

white, Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI) women, and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN). This

is most probably due to the lack of access to Pap testing and healthcare, the HPV vaccination, or

decreased follow-up treatment.


There are a number of risk factors that may increase the chance of cervical cancer. Based on the​ and ​National Foundation for Cancer Research​, the risk factors are smoking, having

HIV, a weak immune system, persistence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, and having

more than one sex partner. Usually there are no symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer,

although the first symptom is likely to be abnormal bleeding from the vagina, especially after

intercourse. In a situation whereby the cancerous cells get larger, pain in the pelvic area and foul

smelling discharge from the vagina might occur. In a serious condition, legs might swell and the

urinary tract might be blocked. This would cause kidney failure.

Most cervical cancer cases are preventable. This is because it is typically caused

by HPV which, in itself, can be prevented. Also, by screening with a Pap test regularly to check

if the cervical cells are cancerous or abnormal ( ​American Cancer Society​ ), there is a higher

chance of avoiding this disease. Treatments for cervical cancer depend mainly on the stage of

cancer. The treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. In an early stage

(stage I) of cervical cancer, the treatment could be removing the infected cervix cells. As for late

stage I and early stage II, a removal of uterus and tissues around the contaminate part would have

to be carried out. In a serious situation (or a late stage of the cancer), radiation therapy and

chemotherapy, as well as a radical hysterectomy, can be given. In the latest stages of cervical

cancer, radical trachelectomy (removing the cervix, the upper part of the vagina and lymph nodes

in the pelvis) would be offered if the woman wishes to still have the ability to bear children. (​ )

Cervical cancer is a disease which cells reproduce abnormally in the cervix and

eventually invading the surrounding reproductive organs. It is primarily caused by the infection

of HPV. However, majority of women being infected with HPV do not necessary develop

cervical cancer ( ​​ ).​ From this assignment, I have learned more about cervical

cancer and its risk factors. I was astonished by the type of treatments available for a patient of

this illness. One of the questions I have is the question of "who was the first woman to be

diagnosed with cervical cancer, and when?". I think it is important to know about this because,

with the information I found, I could spread awareness about this disorder to people I care about.

1.“Cervical Cancer.” ​American Cancer Society,​ w

2.“NIH Fact Sheets - Cervical Cancer.” N ​ ational Institutes of Health​, U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, ​ h
​ ttps://​ .

3.“Cervical Cancer Causes, Diagnosis and Symptoms.” NCCC,​.

4.“Cervical Cancer.” American Cancer Society,​ w

Stöppler, MD Melissa Conrad. “Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Stages & Treatment.”
MedicineNet, ​​

5.“Gynecologic Cancers.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 8 Feb. 2018, w

6.Affairs, Office of Population. “Female Reproductive Cancers.”, US Department of Health and
Human Services, 28 Nov. 2017,​

7.Female Reproductive Cancers | HHS.Gov.