January is Cervical Cancer Awareness

What is an Cervical Cancer?


Cervical cancer is a cancer that occurs in the cells in the cervix. The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus (womb). Fetus grow in the body/upper part of the uterus. The cervix connects the body to the vagina (birthing canal). There are two parts to the cervix, the endocervix and the exocervix. The two main cells on the cervix are the squamous cells (on the exocervix) and tglandualr cells (on the endocervix). Most cancers begin in the transformation zone which is between the endocervix and the exocervix. Before these cells become cancerous they are pre-cancerous and can be detected by the Pap test and they can be treated.


What are the Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer?


These risk factors increase your chance of getting cervical cancer, however, many women with these risks do not develop cervical cancer

Risk Factors:

Human papilloma virus infection



Chlamydia infection

A diet low in fruits and vegetables

Being overweight

Long term use of oral contraceptives

Intrauterine device use

Having multiple full-term pregnancies

Being younger than 17 at your first full-term pregnancy


Diethylstilbestrol (hormonal drug)

Having a family history of cervical cancer

How can Cervical Cancer be Prevented?


The first way to prevent against cervical cancer is to treat pre-cancerous cells that are detected by taking annual Pap tests. The Pap test is a procedure that takes cells from the cervix and test them for pre-cancerous and HPV cells under a microscope. Other ways to prevent against cervical cancer is to avoid exposure to HPV, get the HPV vaccine, and avoid smoking.


What is the Treatment for Cervical Cancer?


Each provider may have different suggestions about a treatment plan. Trust your provider who knows you and your care to know the best plan for you but never hesitate for a second opinion.

Cervical cancer cannot be treated until the stage of cancer is determined. The stage is determined by the size, depth of invasion, and how far it has spread. The most common treatments are surgery (early stages), radiation therapy (early stages), and chemotherapy (later stages).

Most importantly ask questions and understand the risk and side effects of each treatment before making your decision.



**It is best to see your primary care physician and OB/Gyn regularly in order to prevent cervical cancer Please call 773-702-0660 to make an appointment at Friend Family Health Center.**

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