Are Signs of Cervical Cancer Genetic

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Cancer of all forms has a genetic basis for the way in which they form. While some cancers the specific mutation that causes it is unknown, for the most common cancers these are fairly well studied. For cervical cancer specifically, the genetics underlying cervical cancer is well known. With all cancers, a simple mutation in DNA is all it takes for s specific cancer to arise. For cervical cancer however, there are unique genetic factors that are different from other cancers just like how the signs of cervical cancer are unique. Below are the genetic risk factors associated with cervical cancer. 

P53

A common misconception of cancer is that it sporadically forms out of the blue. In reality the development of cancer is in a way a perfect storm. Each cell in your body has mechanisms in place to avoid cancer formation. For cancer to come into fruition these mechanisms are somehow bypassed allowing for the cells to divide at an uncontrollable rate. This is the case for a mutation in the p53 gene. A normally functioning p53 gene encodes factors that prevent cancer and when this gene Is modified it allows cancer formation. Those that inherit 2 mutated p53 genes are at a 7 times greater risk of developing cervical cancer because the p53 checkpoint is completely gone. 

HPV 

The largest genetic risk factor for cervical cancer is one that is acquired through a virus. A large proportion of cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus a sexually transmitted virus. There are now vaccines that can prevent HPV infections. For those that have been infected with high-risk HPV should consider getting regular pap-smears to ensure that they are on top of screening. The HPV virus increases risk in cervical cancer by interfering with the same p53 gene described above. While inherited p53 malfunction is less common, HPV is one of the main risk factors associated with cervical cancer.

Family History

One of the greatest risk factors of any cancer is a family history of cancer. While there are many genetic risk factors that have been identified there are still quite a few that have yet to be discovered. With cancers that are not as well studied the only genetic risk factors are if there is a family history. Those with a family history should ensure that they get regular screenings like pap smears and imaging done. Without knowing the exact genetic basis of cancer, the only thing that can be done is hope to catch it early and to reduce the number of carcinogens introduced to your body. 

History of cancer

Any previous cancer patient is aware that it is important to watch out for reoccurrences of cancer. What is less commonly known is that when you are diagnosed with one form of cancer your risk for other cancers significantly increases. When an individual has a history of any form of cancer, they should ensure they are taking all the necessary precautions to screen for any cancer not just original cancer. This is considered a genetic risk factor because getting cancer in the first place is somewhat of an unlikely event. If there are any inherited risk factors unknown to the scientific community this can result in subsequent cancers.

In summary cervical cancer like any other cancer is a genetic disease at its core. When cells are stripped of the checkpoints that prevent cancer it drastically increases the likelihood of cancer. Genetic predispositions are a great thing to know and test for. When these increased chances are known patients are better able to be aware of this and create care plans that include frequent screenings and tests. Early detection of any disease results in better outcomes and hopefully full remission.

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