Posts tagged ‘cervical cancer’

Middle Tennessee Medical Center is urging the women folk to get tested for cervical cancer. January is dedicated as the Cervical Cancer Screening Month and regular screening is the best way to combat this dreaded disease.

There are basically two tests that determine if the person has cervical cancer or not- the Pap test and the HPV test. The Pap test or Pap smear is directed towards preventing cervical cancer. It looks for precancerous cells that might become cervical cancer if left untreated. Dr. Kelly Williams, a MTMC physician states that it is recommended (by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) that woman undertake an annual examination beginning at age 21.

Pap test is the main test for cervical cancer but another test called the HVP test proves to be helpful at times. HPV or Human Papilloma Virus test looks for the said virus and this test can also be used to find the presence of the virus which causes cellular changes. HPV test is generally used to screen women who are in the age group 30 and above. But it is also used to detect the presence of virus in women who have unclear Pap test results.

There is a vaccine called HPV vaccine that is a big positive leap for medical science since it provides immunity against the virus. This vaccine is recommended for women from the age 9 to 26. Dr. Kelly Williams stresses that the HPV vaccine is a major advancement for preventing cervical cancer worldwide.

Cervical cancer awareness is a positive endeavor by the MTMC since many women fall prey to this ailment. As per an estimate by the National Cancer Institute, 12,200 women would be diagnosed and 4,210 women would die of it in 2010 alone.


Most cancers are diagnosed when the disease has progressed far ahead despite the availability of sophisticated cancer screening solutions. The latest study conducted by the Centres for Decease Control (CDC) has revealed that in the United States, almost half of the cervical and colorectal cases of cancer are detected when the decease is in the advanced stages. The same applies to nearly a third of all cases of breast cancer. These cancers are treatable and can be prevented provided they are diagnosed in the early stages, thus saving many valuable lives.

According to Dr. Marcus Plescia, MPH, Director, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, “the report causes concern because so many preventable cancers are not being diagnosed when treatment is most effective. More work is needed to widely implement evidence-based cancer screening tests which may lead to early detection and, ultimately, an increase in the number of lives saved.”

The data from the CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries, its Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System, and the Surveillance, and End Results Program of the National Cancer Institute was examined by the researchers.

The main aim of the study was to find out how prevalent was the use of screening solutions and how widespread were cases of late stages of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. The study was based on factors such as demographics, ethnicity, age, gender and race in the various states between the years 2004 to 2006.

The report revealed that the occurrence of advanced stages of colorectal cancer was high among black adults. As compared to a malignancy rate of 92.6 in white males, black males had a malignancy rate of 114.0. Similarly among women, black women led with a rate of 85.6 while white women had a lower rate of 68.6.

The states which had the highest cases of advanced colorectal cancer were Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Connecticut, Maine, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Louisiana.


Medical researchers have zeroed in on eight specific types of human papillomavirus (HPV) which are believed to be responsible for at least 90% of all cervical cancers.  These particular HPV strains are likely to be targeted for the manufacture of the next generation of vaccines now.

Pharmaceutical giants, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck & Co.  already have such vaccines in the market . These vaccines act against the various HPV strains responsible for cervical cancer, the second most common form of carcinoma that affects  women worldwide.

A recent study examined data from 10,575 cases of cervical cancer across 38 countries. The entire data encompassed 60 years and helped to provide useful information about the types of HPV that were predominantly responsible for the disease. The study was led by Silvia de Sanjose associated with the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Barcelona.

The results revealed that eight types of HPV strains were actually responsible for 90% incidence of the disease. The strains were identified as 16, 18, 45, 33, 31, 52, 58 as well as 35, categorized according to the descending order of frequency.

The current vaccines available offer total protection against the HPV strains 16 and 18 and is also partially effective against the types 31 and 45 via cross protection.

The study which was conducted across Europe, North America, Central South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa also found several rare types of HPV strains namely 26, 30, 61, 67, 69, 82, and 91 which contributed about 1% to the number of cervical cancers occurring worldwide.

The study was hailed as a Herculean effort by Cosette Wheeler of the New Mexico Health Sciences Center located in the United States.  Wheeler also commented that the study results may well be regarded as a benchmark for all times to come.