by Bangkok Hospital Medical Center
Cervical Cancer is the most common cancer found in Thai women and women in developing country. Those in lower social groups are more at risk. Luckily about 80% of cervical cancer can be prevented, provided an annual pelvic examination is taken to check for abnormal cells. Laurence Civil recently met with Dr. Viruch Charoeniam, Gynecological Oncologist, Wattanosoth Hospital.
“Women who are sexually active before the age of 18 years old are most likely to be at risk due to tissue damage allowing the infection to enter the body,” says Dr Viruch. “Likewise those who have had multiple sex partners; those who have only had one sex partner but he had multiple sex partners; those who smoke and anyone who have continuously taken oral contraception for a period of more than five years.”
He explained that cervical cancer can’t be prevented but research suggests that sexual activity and the physical effect of giving birth has on the body increases the risk.
“At puberty the columnar cells in the cervix change to squamous cells” he say ” This is the normal process in healthy women, however if they are infected with HPV it becomes pathological and the cells become premalignant. This is precancerous lesions which are medically called CIN(Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or dysplasia ). These precancerous cells can progress to cancer, which usually occure approximately 3-5 years after high grade lesion .”
There are three stages in the development of CIN. At the first stage, clinically known as CIN1 the abnormal cells are no more than 1/3 of thickness of cervix covering. It is usual that the area is also infected with the wart virus. 50 – 80 % of women with grade 1 disease will normally recover if there body has strong immunity.
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