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An overview of Cervical Cancer from a biomedical perspective

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Introduction

An overview of Cervical Cancer from a biomedical perspective What is cervical cancer? In Britain approximately 3,240 women are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer each year making it the sixth most common cancer in the UK. A further 22,000 women are treated for pre-cancerous conditions of the cervix that can lead to the development of the disease. Cervical cancer is most commonest in the over 50s but can effect all age groups. Cancer is a multifacorial degenerative disease that can develop in Humans, Animals, and Plants. Cancer occurs in normal body cells using a multistep process known as Carcinogenesis. To grow and repair the body requires cells to reproduce using a method of division called Mitosis. Most cancers are caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors that create Carcinogens, (cancer-causing agents), which trigger the activation of Oncogenes that damage a cell. Oncongenes are mutations within a gene that interfere with the natural life cycle of a cell and inhibit Apoptosis. If Apoptosis, programmed cell death, does not take place the cells continue to divide and because the body recognises them and does not remove them via the immune system, they reproduce uncontrollably. ...read more.

Middle

Stage 1 is used to describe a cancer that is confined to the cervix and can further sub-divided into levels A1, A2, B1 or B2, depending on how deeply the cancer has invaded the tissue and the size of the tumor. Stage 2, (either 2A or 2B), is cancer that has spread beyond the uterus but not to the pelvic wall or the lower third of the vagina. Stage 3, (either 3A or 3B), cancers extend to the pelvic wall or the lower third of the vagina causing kidney problems. Finally at stage 4, (4A or 4B), the cancer has invaded the bladder or rectum and/or extends beyond the pelvis. Treatment Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer. It may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of any or all of the available treatments. A patient's age, desire to have children and general medical condition all play a role when planning the best treatment. For example Stage 1A may be treated with fertility maintaining surgery. Very early CIN changes are examined using a colposcopy, (large magnifying lens), and a small tissue sample, a biopsy, is taken. ...read more.

Conclusion

Starting a sexual relationship in the later, rather than earlier teens and having fewer partners will contribute towards the prevention of cervical cancer. Always practicing safe sex, with a condom, would significantly reduce the opportunities to contract HPV, the primary causative virus. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, correct weight, not smoking, and regular exercise also help to keep the immune system functioning effectively, so lessen the chance of cancer developing. To conclude, cervical cancer is a potentially fatal disease with a variety of devastating consequences to which we currently have no cure. Cervical cancer is also a potentially curable disease that can be prevented easily from developing at a very early stage by a simple screening test. Reference List Fosbery, Richard. 1997. Human Health and Disease. Cambridge University Press. Pages 4-5. Starr, Cecie., and McMillan, Beverly. 2001. Human Biology .4th Edition. Wadsworth Group. Pages 434-441. Mader. S, Sylvia. 2001. Biology. 7th edition. McGraw-Hill companies,Inc. Pages 152-154. Schirge, John., and Norwitz, Errol. 2001. Obstetrics and Gynecology at a glance. Blackwell science ltd. Pages 64-65. Wilson, Kathleen J.W., and Waugh, Anne. 1996. Ross and Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness. 8th edition. Churchill Livingstone. Page 437. www.crc.org.uk 2002. The official UK Cancer research campaign website. www.imperialcancer.co.uk 2002. The official UK imperial cancer research website. www.cancerhelp.org.uk 2002. www.cancerbacup.org.uk 2002 www.cervicalcancer.uk.com 2002. ...read more.

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