What Is Cervical Cancer?

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Background: What is Cervical Cancer?
This year alone approximately 12,360 documented new cases of cervical cancer in the United States and 4,020 deaths according to National Cancer Institute (“Cervical Cancer”, 2014). Cervical cancer is a slow growing cancer that grows in the tissues of the cervix (an organ that connects the uterus and vagina). The disease is predominantly caused by the human papillomavirus infection (HPV). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the HPV virus is so common that nearly all sexually active women and men get it at some point in their lives. Many types of HPV exist, some causing genital warts and potentially cervical cancer. Individuals can get HPV by having unprotected genital to genital touching, oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, and can develop symptoms years after they had sex with someone who is infected, making it difficult to know when they first became infected.
There are approximately 12 high risk HPV infection types. Although HPV is quite common, most infections are suppressed by the individual’s immune system within a few years without causing cancer but they may cause temporary chances in cervical cells. However, an infection with high risk HPV has the potential to form into more severe precancerous lesions, which if not treated, can progress to cancer. As mentioned before, HPV is slow growing; it may take 10 to 20 years or more for a reoccurring HPV type to develop into

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