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Question:

Mother with cervical cancer, Am I at risk?

Dear Ask The Doctor:
My mum has had cervical cancer, and i have extrememly heavy bleeding during my cycle, and smelly discharge everyday should i be worried?


Answer:

I do understand your concern for cervical cancer since your mother had it too. Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer in women. Due to early detection the rate of invasive cervical cancer is on the decline.
Studies show that having a first degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) with cervical cancer may increase your risk of developing the disease. The main risk factor for cervical cancer are HPV infection (especially HPV 16 and 18), sex at an early age, multiple sexual partners and smoking. A Pap test can detect cancer or abnormalities that may lead to cancer of the cervix. The test is performed at 21 years and repeated every 2 years till 30 years.
However, according to the symptoms you've presented, you are most probably having bacterial vaginosis. I would advise you to consult your doctor for further tests and antibiotics if needed. You may also need vaccination against HPV infection. Gardasil & Cervarix have demonstrated very high efficacy in preventing HPV infection.


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