Medical News: Dr. Lakkana HIRUN, Vibharam Hospital, Bangkok; 30/07/2015
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the cause of almost all cervical cancers. There are more than 100 different types of HPV, many of which are harmless. However, some types of HPV can cause abnormal changes in the cervical tissue and affects the deeper tissue of the cervix and may have spread to other parts of the body. It’s slow progression from normal cervical tissue to precancerous change in the tissue to invasive cancer. The slow progression is very important because it provides opportunities for prevention and treatment.
Risk factors of cervical cancer include early sexual contact, multiple sexual partners, cigarette smoking, HIV infection or sexual transmitted disease such as Chlamydia infection, a weakened immune system, taking oral contraceptive pill and patient that low socioeconomic status.
Symptoms and signs of cervical cancers mostly include abnormal vaginal bleeding, and vaginal discharge may also occur.
When to see the doctors and medical care:
Vaginal bleeding in any woman aging especially in post menopause woman. Heavy bleeding in menstruation period, bleeding after intercourse and abnormal vaginal discharge. Some patient has no symptom until the late stage that means Pap smear is the most important to early diagnosis and early treatment of cervical cancer.
If woman has vaginal bleeding that is associated with fainting, weakness, syncope, she should go to the hospital immediately for investigations and treatments.
Cervical cancer prevention:
Regular pelvic examinations and Pap smears are the best way to do this. Woman age over 25 may have Pap smear and HPV testing every 5 years, or Pap alone every 1-3 year.
Vaccination have been approved for the prevention of HPV infection. Vaccines are given in three doses over six-month period, which valuable and most effective in woman 9-25 years. Woman who have had the HPV vaccine should still have Pap test.
If woman has had precancerous changes or cancer, she must follow up with gynecological schedule.
Cigarette smoking is another risk for cervical cancer that can be prevent. It is important to eat fruits and vegetables, also maintained strict hygiene practices.
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