Cervical cancer

Cervical Cancer

For women under the age of 45, cervical cancer is the second most contracted forms of cancer after breast cancer. Every year at least 500.000 women are diagnosed with the disease of which almost 50% do not survive. Which is especially devastating, considering cervical cancer can be prevented and completely cured if diagnosed and treated on time.

What causes cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is caused by the HPV Virus. The virus, after intruding in the cervix and creates abnormal cells. If and when these abnormal cells develop into cancerous cell and multiply, it is considered cervical cancer.

What is the Human Papillomavirus?

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the number 1 most common Sexually Transmitted Disease which is contracted by at least 80% of the population. The virus lives on the skin and so also around the genitals. Through skin on skin contact, the virus can be transmitted. Which is why every woman who is sexually active is at risk to become a carrier. Most people will never experience any effects of HPV.

Not every infection will lead to cervical cancer. There are at least 100 different types of HPV known, which can be grouped in low- and high risk. Only high risk HPV types can develop into cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer treatment and HPV

In the Netherlands younger women are getting vaccinated with an HPV-vaccine. It only takes 2 injections to be protected for many years against most HPV-viruses.

There is no cure for HPV which is why these HPV caused irregularities need to be ascertained and treated as quickly as possible. The screening of these irregularities in the Netherlands at the moment is achieved through a pap smear which women have to do every five years.