Curable, 90% of cervical cancer cases are detected on time | Municipalities of Puebla

He cervical cancer This is an issue of concern to women and the general population, so it is important to insist on Primary preventionthrough vaccination, and secondary, due to timely detection, says the academician of the UNAM Faculty of Medicine, Lucelie Setina Perez.

More than 95% of cervical cancer cases are associated with human papillomavirus infection.Cervical cancer kills 10 women in ZacapoaxtlIt is the second most common type of cancer in women of reproductive age in our country – after breast cancer – with about 10 thousand new cases per yearand causes between 5,000 and 5,500 deaths each year, adds the National Cancer Institute researcher.

This condition, which is the world’s fourth leading cause of death and more common in resource-limited countries like ours and the rest of Latin American countries, for example, still registers high numbers “when they shouldn’t be there anymore.” . The goal is to eradicate it, “but we still have a lot to do.”

On occasion National Cervical Cancer Day – which is dedicated to memory August 9– Setina Perez explains that it consists of the proliferation of malignant cells in the cervix, a process that can take months or years to become invasive.

There are different types, but the most common, in 85-90 percent of cases, is the so-called squamous cell carcinoma; others are less common, such as adenocarcinoma, adenosquamous, or neuroendocrine, but are more aggressive.

The scientist recalls that in 99 percent of cases, infection of the cervix is ​​associated with sexual infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV); However, there are other risk factors for getting it, such as smoking and genital infections, including, for example, chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Usage male condomsdetails, helps prevent genital infections as well as reduce HPV infection and therefore cervical cancer.

Having sex at an early age and having sex with multiple partners is also important for HPV infection, which can cause cervical cancer. “It all adds up, but the trigger is the persistence of HPV.”

Lucely Cetina clarifies that, depending on the immunological status and nutrition of the patient, the virus persists or may progress. It has been observed that approximately 30 percent of infected women develop invasive cervical cancer.

At the beginning, the university warns, it is asymptomatic and may go unnoticed. Unfortunately signs and symptoms appear when the disease is in advanced stages; main symptoms and signs: transvaginal bleeding after intercourse, persistent transvaginal bleeding, pelvic pain and others. When a person is almost in a terminal state, edema (swelling) of the lower extremities or problems with urination occur.

Identified in the early stages, the specialist clarifies, they are cured in 90 percent of cases; if there are signs and symptoms, the disease is in the clinical stage, known as IB2 (i.e., when the tumor is limited to the cervix and has a diameter of more than 4 centimeters); At this and other later stages, the chances of a cure can be 50 to 80 percent; and at stages where the disease spreads and reaches other organs, the survival rate drops to less than 30 percent “even with the best treatment.”

The procedure in the early stages is surgical; For locally advanced tumors, when tumors are 4 cm to 10 cm, i.e. stages IB2 to Iva, treatment consists mainly of concomitant radiation and chemotherapy, followed by brachytherapy (a type of radiation therapy with a radiation source in the body, inside or near the tumor) in the presence of metastases, that is, in advanced stages, chemotherapy and immunotherapy are used. “While we have seen improvements in terms of cure and patient survival with the new drugs, we continue with limitations,” he notes.

Vaccination and detection

The main aspects of disease prevention are vaccination, timely detection of cancer, especially with a test for pap smearas well as the dissemination of information, which is so necessary for the general population, the expert says.

There are reportedly girls in Mexico who become sexually active at 12 years of age; However, according to the Official Mexican Standard, Pap smears must be performed from the age of 25, there are plenty of them.

Women should consult a doctor and conduct a study at least once a year. In the case of minors, three or four years after the onset of sexual activity and under close medical supervision; care must be personalized.

Although there are other methods of diagnosis, the doctor determines whether additional blood tests, colposcopy, etc. are necessary, to prevent the progression of the disease when it occurs, Lucelia Cetina is enough.

Meanwhile, due to government policy, HPV vaccination is directed only at girls, but in other countries it is possible to give it to boys as well; they prevent cancer of the anal canal and penis, as well as some anogenital and oropharyngeal warts in both sexes.

It is advisable for minors to be vaccinated from the age of 9, and for young people under 23 who have not been vaccinated, it is recommended to do this, even if they have been in contact with the virus. In men, it is appropriate from the age of 13.

The “target group” is teens and young adults who would preferably not have had a sexual life, he clarifies, since the biological drug is 97 percent effective; in those who were prone to infection, the effectiveness drops to 70 percent, although this is still a “very important” figure. Children, adolescents and young adults are encouraged to get vaccinated, although they will have to do so in the private sector. Finally, according to a university specialist, if symptoms or signs appear, you should immediately consult a doctor, and best of all, go to oncology centers to get the most effective treatment.

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