FOX sports broadcaster and stunner in every sense of the word, Erin Andrews, recently revealed that this past September, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She was in for a routine gynecological checkup at age 38, and her world was turned upside down after an already rough year due to her trial stemming from a case where she was unknowingly videotaped naked in a hotel room and the footage was posted online.
Luckily for Andrews, the cancer was detected in a timely fashion and she underwent two surgeries – one in October and the next in November – resulting in a clean bill of health and a tremendous sigh of relief.
According to the American Cancer Society, it's estimated that there will be approximately 12,830 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed this year and just over 4,210 women will die from the illness. Thankfully for Andrews, she was given the news any woman battling cancer would want to hear – she will survive.
The American Cancer Society notes, "Over the last 40 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%. The main reason for this change was the increased use of the Pap test. This screening procedure can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early − in its most curable stage."
Women must educate themselves about this form of cancer in order to take the appropriate steps to be checked regularly. Here are some important facts all women should know:
Who's The Most Vulnerable?
According to the American Cancer Society, most cases of cervical cancer occur in midlife with most cases found in women age 50 or younger. As per Healthline, "The cervix is the narrow lower portion of the uterus that opens into the vag*na."
In the U.S., Hispanic women are the most likely to be diagnosed, followed by African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Caucasians. Alaskan natives and Native Americans see the fewest cases.
What Causes Cervical Cancer?
As per Healthline, "Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes almost all cases of cervical cancer, which is a common sexually transmitted infection. However, most people who have HPV infections never experience any symptoms and many cases go away without treatment. However, certain strains of the virus can infect cells and cause problems such as genital warts or cancer."
Are There Symptoms?
Women rarely have symptoms when the cancer is in its early stages, as per Healthline. Pap tests can detect cancerous cells early, making it so important for women to be seen by their gynecologist on a regular basis.
If the cancer becomes invasive, women may experience irregular bleeding between periods or after intercourse, as per Healthline. And women who are postmenopausal may experience bleeding.
Cancer.net adds additional symptoms which include pain during sexual intercourse, longer or heavier menstrual bleeding, and increased vag*nal discharge.
If the cancer is at an advanced stage, Healthline notes that a woman may experience pelvic or back pain, difficulty urinating or defecating, swelling in the legs, weight loss, and fatigue.
Be proactive with gynecological checkups and if you experience anything unusual or have any of the above symptoms to any degree, see a doctor right away.