Cervical cancer is cancer of the entrance to the womb (uterus) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Regular pelvic exams, Pap testing and screening can detect precancerous changes in the cervix. Cervical cancer can be prevented by a vaccine. The most common signs and symptoms are an increase in vaginal discharge, painful sex, and postmenopausal bleeding. The prognosis and survival rate depends upon the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed. Read more: Cervical Cancer (Cancer of the Cervix) Article
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Viral Infection Types, Treatment, and Prevention
Watch this slideshow on Viral Infections and learn about types, treatment, and prevention of illnesses caused by viruses.
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Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment
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Related Disease Conditions
Spotting vs. Period
Menstruation (a female's "period") occurs due to the shedding of the lining of the uterus. Menstrual bleeding lasts about three to five days, and the bleeding is heavy the first couple of days and then it lessens. Spotting is vaginal bleeding between periods.
Swollen Lymph Nodes (Glands)
Lymph nodes help the body's immune system fight infections. Causes of swollen lymph nodes (glands) may include infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasites). Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes vary greatly, but may include fever, night sweats, toothache, sore throat, or weight loss. Causes of swollen lymph nodes also vary, but may include cancer, the common cold, mono, chickenox, HIV, and herpes. The treatment of swollen lymph nodes depends upon the cause.
STDs in Men
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. STDs in men cause no symptoms or symptoms like genital burning, itching, sores, rashes, or discharge. Common infections that are sexually transmitted in men include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C and B, genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital herpes. Some STDs in men are treatable while others are not. STDs are diagnosed with tests that identify proteins or genetic material of the organisms causing the infection. The prognosis of an STD depends on whether the infection is treatable or not. Use of latex condoms can help reduce the risk of contracting an STD but it does not eliminate the risk entirely.
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, weight gain, and emotional symptoms such as mood swings. Treatment of menopausal symptoms varies, and should be discussed with your physician.
Genetic Diseases (Disorder Definition, Types, and Examples)
The definition of a genetic disease is a disorder or condition caused by abnormalities in a person's genome. Some types of genetic inheritance include single inheritance, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Marfan syndrome, and hemochromatosis. Other types of genetic diseases include multifactorial inheritance. Still other types of genetic diseases include chromosome abnormalities (for example, Turner syndrome, and Klinefelter syndrome), and mitochondrial inheritance (for example, epilepsy and dementia).
Birth Control Options (Types and Side Effects)
Birth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms), hormonal methods (pill, patch), surgical sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy), natural methods, and the morning after pill. Side effects and risks of each birth control option should be reviewed prior to using any birth control method.
Genital Warts (HPV) Infection in Women
Genital warts is a sexually transmitted infection (STI, STD) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most common STD in the US. The warts can appear anywhere on the skin where sexual contact has occurred. The warts look like raised, flesh-colored lumps or bumps that have a cauliflower-like appearance. Signs and symptoms of genital warts in women include vaginal, vulva, or groin pain, itching, and burning where the wart(s) is. Treatment can remove warts or lesions, but it does not prevent spread of the virus, and the warts usually grow back. Removing genital warts does not prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere on the body. There is no cure for genital warts, and there is no vaccine to prevent them; however, there is a vaccine to prevent infection from four common types of HPV. Gardasil vaccine available for female adolescents and teens to prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer.
Obesity is the state of being well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are more than 20% over their ideal weight. That ideal weight must take into account the person's height, age, sex, and build.
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
Normal vaginal bleeding (menorrhea) occurs through the process of menstruation. Abnormal vaginal bleeding in women who are ovulating regularly most commonly involves excessive, frequent, irregular, or decreased bleeding. Causes of abnormal may arise from a variety of conditions that may include, uterine fibroids, IUDs, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, lupus, STDs, pelvic inflammatory disease, emotional stress, anorexia nervosa, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cancers, early pregnancy.
Chlamydia in Women
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. Signs and symptoms of chlamydia, a bacterial infection, include vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, burning with urination, blood in the urine, and feelings of urinary urgency and frequency. Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Chlamydia is diagnosed with a culture or by identification of the genetic material of the bacteria. Treatment of chlamydia consists of a course of antibiotics.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States. STDs can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sex organs, the anus or mouth, or through contact with blood during sexual activity. Examples of STDs include, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, pubic lice (crabs), and scabies. Treatment is generally with antibiotics; however, some STDs that go untreated can lead to death.
Cysts are sac-like structures that may be filled with gas, liquid, or solid materials. Cysts may produce symptoms and signs depending on their location. Treatment of a cyst depends upon what caused the cyst in the first place.
Though uterine cancer's cause is unknown, there are many factors that will put a woman at risk, including being over age 50, having endometrial hyperplasia, using hormone replacement therapy, obesity, using tamoxifen, being Caucasian, and/or having colorectal cancer. Symptoms and signs of cancer of the uterus (endometrial cancer) include abnormal vaginal bleeding, painful urination, painful intercourse, and pelvic pain. Treatment depends on staging and may include radiation therapy or hormone therapy.
Lymphedema is a condition in which one or more extremities become swollen as the result of an impaired flow of the lymphatic system. There are two types of lymphedema: primary and secondary. Filariasis is the most common cause of lymphedema worldwide. In the U.S., breast cancer surgery is the most common cause. Symptoms include swelling of one or more limbs, cracked and thickening skin, and secondary bacterial or fungal infections of the skin. There is no cure for lymphedema.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Infection
HPVs or human papillomaviruses are a group of viral infections of the skin and mucous membranes. Certain high-risk types of HPV infection cause certain cancers (cervical, penile, anal, vaginal, and oral). There are no signs or symptoms of HPV infection. HPV infection is an extremely common STD, and is highly contagious. A person is at a higher risk of getting HPV infection if they have a number of different sex partners; have a weakened immune system (for example, HIV/AIDS); or has breaks in the skin (cuts or abrasions) that come into contact with an infected person or contaminated surface. HPV vaccinations are available to prevent HPV infection. Treatment for HPV infection are antiviral medications. There is no cure for HPV infection.
Is Chlamydia Contagious?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is contagious. Chlaymida is spread through sexual contact. (You cannot get chlamyidia from kissing or sharing utensils or drinks.) Chlamydia is the most common STD in the U.S. The incubation period for chlamydia ranges from days to months, and the contagious period ends seven days after patients begin treatment. Chlamydia signs and symptoms may include painful urination, rectal irritation (proctitis), eye infections, and infertility. Women can also develop chronic pelvic pain, salpingitis, and endometritis.
Premature Menopause (Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments)
Premature menopause is when menopause occurs in a woman before the age of 40. Causes of premature menopause include premature ovarian failure, treatments for cancer and other conditions, surgical removal of the ovaries, or chronic diseases of the pituitary or thyroid gland, or psychiatric disorders. Treatment is directed at menopausal symptoms.
Symptoms of 12 Serious Diseases and Health Problems
Learn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough, headache, chest pain, nausea, stool color or consistency changes, heartburn, skin moles, anxiety, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, lightheadedness, night sweats, eye problems, confusion, depression, severe pelvic or abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, and nipple changes. The symptoms and signs of serious health problems can be caused by strokes, heart attacks, cancers, reproductive problems in females (for example, cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and sexually transmitted diseases or STDs), breast problems (for example, breast cancer and non-cancer related diseases), lung diseases (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, lung cancer, emphysema, and asthma), stomach or digestive diseases (for example, cancers, gallbladder, liver, and pancreatic diseases, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease), bladder problems (for example, urinary incontinence, and kidney infections), skin cancer, muscle and joint problems, emotional problems or mental illness (for example, postpartum depression, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mania, and schizophrenia), and headache disorders (for example, migraines, or "the worst headache of your life), and eating disorders and weight problems (for example, anorexia or bulimia).
Cervical dysplasia is a condition in which the cells of the inner lining of the cervix have precancerous changes. There are two types of cervical dysplasia; 1) squamous intraepithelial lesion, and 2) cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Cervical dysplasia is caused by infection of the cervix with HPV (human papillomavirus). There are various diagnostic measures for cervical dysplasia. Treatment generally depends upon the progression of the dysplasia: mild, moderate, or severe.
Cancer Risk Factors
Though it's difficult to say why some people develop cancer while others don't, research shows that certain risk factors increase a person's odds of developing cancer. These risk factors include growing older, family history of cancer, diet, alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to sunlight, ionizing radiation, certain chemicals, and some viruses and bacteria.
Tumor grade is a system used to classify cancer cells in how likely the tumor is to grow and how abnormal they look under a microscope. Tumor grade is not the same as tumor stage. A biopsy is taken to determine if the tumor is benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Hookahs vs. Cigarette Smoking (Addiction and Health Dangers)
A hookah is a water pipe that's used to smoke flavored tobacco like watermelon, licorice, coconut, chocolate, cherry, mint, apple, and cappuccino. The use of this type of tobacco smoking began in ancient India and Persia centuries ago. You can find Hookah cafes all over the world, for example, the US, France, Russia, Britain, and the Middle East. New forms of electronic hookah are now available. Some people who smoke tobacco think that hookahs are less dangerous to their health because the smoke is filtered through water, but the smoke from Hookahs contain the same cancer-causing chemicals that cigarette smoke does. Smoking tobacco via cigarettes or hookah are both dangerous to your health.
Smoker's Lung: Pathology Photo Essay
Smoker's lung photo essay is a collection of pictures and microscopic slides of lung disease caused by cigarette smoking. Smoker's lung refers to the diseases and structural abnormalities in the lung caused by cigarette smoking.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms and signs of HIV infection include fatigue, enlarged lymph glands, and recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment for HIV infection.
Birth Control Pill vs. Shot (Depo-Provera): Similarities and Differences
Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) and the Depo-Provera shot are two hormonal methods of birth control. Both methods work by changing the hormone levels in your body, which prevents pregnancy, or conception. Differences between "the pill" and "the shot." Birth control pills are available as combination pills, which contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, or mini-pills that only contain progestin. In comparison to the Depo-Provera injection, which prevents pregnancy for three consecutive months. Both methods of birth control are very effective in preventing pregnancy. Both the combination pill (if you take them as directed) and shot are up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. While the mini-pill is only about 95% effective in preventing pregnancy. Both methods cause weight gain, and have other similar side effects like breast pain, soreness or tenderness, headaches, and mood changes. They may lead to decreased interest in sex in some women. There are differences between the other side effects of these methods (depending upon the method) that include breakthrough bleeding or spotting, acne, depression, fatigue, and weakness. Both oral contraceptives and the Depo-Provera shot have health risks associated with them, such as, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and cervical cancer. Birth control pills appear to increase the risk of cervical cancer. Talk with your OB/GYN or other doctor or health care professional about which birth control method is right for you.
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or "passive smoke" also harm family members, coworkers, and others around smokers. There are a number of techniques available to assist people who want to quit smoking.
Vaginal cancer is fairly uncommon. There are two types of vaginal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Risk factors include being 60 or older, exposure to DES while in the womb, HPV infection, and having a history of abnormal cervical cells. Painful intercourse, pelvic pain, vaginal lumps, and abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge are all symptoms of vaginal cancer. Treatment depends upon the stage of the vaginal cancer and may involve surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and the use of radiosensitizers.
Your health care provider may refer you to a genetic professional. Universities and medical centers also often have affiliated genetic professionals, or can provide referrals to a genetic professional or genetics clinic. Genetic counseling provides patients and family members the tools to make the right choice in regard to test for a disease or condition.
Secondhand smoke can cause illness and disease in nonsmokers. Some of these conditions include lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, SIDS, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Learn how you can protect yourself and your family from secondhand smoke exposure in the home environment and workplace.
Genital Warts in Men (HPV)
The HPV virus (genital warts) in men can cause health problems. Genital warts are confined primarily to the moist skin of the genitals or around the anus. Genital warts are caused by the human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which are transmitted through sexual contact.
Most often, caregivers take care of other adults who are ill or disabled. Less often, caregivers are grandparents raising their grandchildren. The majority of caregivers are middle-aged women. Caregiving can be very stressful, so it's important to recognize when it's putting to much strain on you and to take steps to prevent/relieve stress.
HIV vs. AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus causes HIV infection. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a condition that results after HIV has extensively damaged a person's immune system. Risk factors for HIV and AIDS include use of contaminated needles or syringes, unprotected sex, STDs, receiving a blood transfusion prior to 1985 in the United States, having many sex partners, and transmission from a mother to her child.
Cancer fatigue is a lack of energy that is caused by cancer or cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy, or bone marrow transplantation. Strategies to combat cancer fatigue include scheduling rest, pacing oneself, planning ahead and prioritizing work and activities, eating the right foods, exercising, and practicing proper body mechanics.
Certain behavioral, lifestyle, and environmental factors contribute to cancer. Cancer prevention involves modifying these factors to decrease cancer risk. Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, and obesity increase the risk of certain cancers. Vaccines, genetic testing, and cancer screening also play a role in cancer prevention.
Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH)
Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) is common in older individuals and happens when too much antidiuretic hormone releases and causes water retention and a low sodium level. There are several causes of SIADH. Symptoms include seizures, irritability, elevated systolic blood pressure, and hyponatremia, among others. Treatment involves restricting fluids, treating the underlying cause, and taking medications to decrease the antidiuretic hormone's effect on the kidneys.
Disease Prevention in Women
Disease prevention in women includes screening tests that are a basic part of prevention medicine. All screening tests are commonly available through your general doctor. Some specialized tests may be available elsewhere.
Cancer pain results from the tumor pressing on nerves or invading bones or organs. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery can also cause pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, radiation, biofeedback, and relaxation techniques are just some treatments for cancer pain.
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Prevention & Wellness
- Hysterectomy Procedure Tied to Worse Cancer Outcomes
- Most Americans in the Dark About Cancer-Causing HPV, Survey Finds
- Where Women's Health Clinics Close, Cervical Cancer Outcomes Worsen
- Not All Cervical Cancer Rates Are Declining
- More Evidence HPV Vaccine Cuts Cervical Cancer Rate
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- Most Nations May Be Rid of Cervical Cancer By 2100
- HPV Infections Most Tied to Cancer Are in Decline, and Vaccines May Be Why
- HPV Might Be Behind Vocal Cord Cancers in Young
- Study Ties Cancer-Causing HPV to Heart Disease, Too
- Health Screenings Every Woman Needs
- Still Too Few Teens Getting the HPV Vaccine
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Cervical Cancer
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- Vaccine, Screening Can Prevent Cervical Cancer Deaths
- AI Beats Humans at Detecting Cervical Precancers
- Too Few Women Are Getting Cervical Cancer Screening
- How Necessary Is HPV Cervical Cancer Screening for Women After Age 55?
- Less-Invasive Surgery for Cervical Cancer May Bring More Risks, Studies Find
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- Medicine's Highest Awards Go to Planned Parenthood, HPV Researchers
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- HPV Vaccine May Also Prevent Cancers Affecting Men
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- 2 Doses of HPV Vaccine Effective for Younger Teens
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- Breast, Cervical Cancer More Deadly in Developing Nations: Report
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- Little Gains in Efforts to Boost Outpatient Care
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- Vaccine Has Cut HPV Infection Rate in Teen Girls by Two-Thirds: Study
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- HPV Vaccine Rates Highest in Poor and Hispanic Communities: Study
- Organ Recipients at Raised Risk of Cancer Death, Study Finds
- Cancer Rates Dropping in Rich Countries, Rising in Poorer Ones: Study
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- Too Few U.S. Teens Getting HPV Vaccine: CDC
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- Many Americans Not Getting Routine Cancer Screenings: CDC
- Study Supports HPV Vaccination Guidelines
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- Many U.S. Girls Aren't Getting HPV Vaccine, Study Finds
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- Global Cancer Rates Set to Soar by 2030
- Infection Causes 1 in 6 Cancers Worldwide: Study
- HPV Cancer Hits 8,000 Men, 18,000 Women a Year
- Lung Cancer Screening Might Pay Off, Analysis Shows
- HPV-Related Head, Neck Cancers on the Rise
- Obese White Women Shying Away From Colon Cancer Screening
- Preteens More Likely to Report HPV Vaccine Side Effects
- HPV Infection Lasts Longer in Young Black Women: Study
- HPV Vaccine May Help Women With Cervical Conditions
- Most Anal Lesions Don't Cause Cancer in Men, Research Shows
- New Cervical Cancer Guidelines: Less Screening
- Study Reaffirms That Pap Tests Save Lives
- Pediatricians Renew Call for HPV Vaccine for Boys
- Pediatricians' Group Recommends HPV Vaccine for Boys
- Study Finds No Link Between HPV Vaccine and Autoimmune Disorders
- Too Few Americans Getting Screened for Common Cancers: CDC
- CDC: Cancer Screening Below Target Rates
- Women Can Take Steps to Prevent Cervical Cancer
- Oral HPV Infection Strikes Men More Than Women: Study
- From Bad to Better: U.S. Cancer Rates Continue to Drop
- Health Highlights: Dec. 28, 2011
- 40 Years On, the Triumphs and Challenges of America's 'War on Cancer'
- Making Sense of Cancer Screening Updates
- HPV Test Beats Pap Test for Cervical Cancer Screening
- Are Too Many Older People Screened for Cancer?
- Home-Based Test Can Detect Cervical Cancer Virus: Study
- Males 11-21 Should Get Gardasil HPV Vaccine
- Girls More Likely to Get HPV Vaccine When Doctors Recommend It
- Guidelines Suggest Less Frequent Screening for Cervical Cancer
- HPV-Linked Oral Cancers on the Rise, Study Finds
- Breast Cancer Rates Jump Worldwide, Study Finds
- IUDs May Lower Women's Risk for Cervical Cancer: Study
- Vaccines for Teens: Still Room for Improvement
- Many Doctors Ignore Guidelines, Order Annual Pap Test
- No More Co-pay for Birth Control
- Panel: Drop Co-Pay for Women's Birth Control
- Can HPV Vaccine Stop Throat Cancer?
- HPV Vaccine: Early Evidence of Impact
- Decade's Top 10 Public Health Achievements
- Late Doses of HPV Vaccine May Still Be Effective
- Study: Older Women Need Pap Smears, Too
- HPV Shot Prevents Genital Warts in Boys and Men
- Michael Douglas: Throat Cancer Survivor
- Male Circumcision Cuts Women's Cervical Cancer Risk
- Gardasil HPV Vaccine Stopping Genital Warts
- HPV Vaccine: Cost-effective Way to Prevent Anal Cancer
- Michael Douglas and Throat Cancer FAQ
- HPV Viruses Linked to Skin Cancer
- Exercise Recommended for Cancer Patients
- Mouth Cancer Prognosis Improves When Cervical Cancer Virus Involved
- Most Young Adults: Oral Sex Is Not Sex
- Breast Cancer Drugs May Fight Cervical Cancer, Too
- New MRI Puts Cervical Cancer Into Focus
- PET Scans Can Spot Cervical Cancer's Return
- The Pill Raises Cervical Cancer Risk
- HPV Beats Pap as Cervical Cancer Test
- Condoms May Prevent Cervical Cancer
- Cervical Cancer Vaccine Approved