Urgent warning as number of women with cervical cancer rises – 4 signs you need to know

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A RESEARCH has called into question what age cervical cancer screening should be.

Cervical cancer is a devastating disease that usually affects women in their 30s.


An alarming number of California women over age 65 are diagnosed with cervical cancer

But research conducted UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers found that nearly one in five new cervical cancers diagnosed from 2009 to 2018 in California were in women age 65 and older.

“An alarming number of California women age 65 and older are diagnosed with late-stage cervical cancer and die from the disease,” the research team wrote.

The study found that 71% of women aged 65 and older with cervical cancer had a late diagnosis, compared to only 48% of younger women.

The researchers also found that late-stage diagnoses increase up to age 79.

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Finally, women aged 65 years or older with late-stage cervical cancer had worse survival rates compared to women younger than 65 years.

The researchers used data from California Cancer Registrywhich has been collecting information on cancer and its treatment since 1988.

They identified all women aged 21 and older who were diagnosed between 2009 and 2018.

The results of the study led researchers to question the US cervical cancer screening guiding principles.

Lead author Julianne Cooley, a senior statistician at UC Davis, said, “Our findings highlight the need to better understand how current screening recommendations may be ineffective for women age 65 and older.”

Current US Guidelines for Cervical Cancer The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you get tested for human papillomavirus (HPV) or have a Pap test if you are 21 to 65 years old.

Guidance in the UK is similar – sent out by the NHS the letter invites for cervical health screening for all women aged 25 to 64.

But absorption rates are not what they should be.

In January, the National Health Service called on women to stand up for a cervical screeningafter a third of those eligible – about 4.6 million – failed the latest test.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide about 3,000 cases are diagnosed each year in Britain.

According to Cancer Research UK, most cases of the disease occur in women aged 30 to 34.

Cervical cancer is cancer that occurs anywhere in the cervix, which is the opening between the vagina and the uterus (womb).

Almost all types of cervical cancer are caused by certain types of infection human papilloma virus (HPV) – but they can often be prevented by having a cervical exam.

Symptoms include:

  1. vaginal bleeding that is unusual for you – including during or after sex, between periods or after menopause. You may also have heavier periods than usual
  2. changes in vaginal discharge
  3. pain during sex
  4. pain in the lower back, between the pelvic bones or in the lower abdomen

It is important to see your GP if you have these symptoms, NHS guidance recommends.

You may be used to similar symptoms if you have fibroids or endometriosis, but it’s important to get tested if they change or get worse.

There is no need to be embarrassed – the person examining you is used to doing this and talking about these symptoms. You can also ask a female doctor to examine you at your appointment.

They can:

  • look at the outside of your vagina (vulva)
  • feel the vagina with two fingers while pressing on the abdomen (they will be wearing gloves)
  • gently insert a smooth, tube-shaped instrument (a speculum) into your vagina so they can see your cervix
  • take a small sample of cervical cells using a soft brush

You can ask your doctor to stop at any time.

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If the virus is found, the sample is examined to see if the cells show signs of changes that can be treated before they turn into cancer.

More information on how to make an appointment for cervical screening can be found here here.

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