Day 7: Cervical and Prostate Cancer

Series: 13 days of Oncology with Kishan Sivakumar

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer has origins in “cells of the cervix”, which affects the vagina of an individual through its connection to the uterus (“Cervical Cancer”). STDs plague Uganda, and a specific one called human papillomavirus (HPV) can “play a role in causing most cervical cancer” (“Cervical Cancer”). Even though the immune system of an individual can eliminate traces of the virus, for some individuals, it can remain dormant and contribute “to the process that causes..cervical cells to become cancer cells” (“Cervical Cancer”). In identifying the development of this fatal disease, it is vital to look for vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain, which can be identified “between periods or after menopause” (“Cervical Cancer”). While originating specifically from physical interaction, the cancerous origin derives from cellular biology, in which “healthy cells in the cervix develop changes (mutations) in their DNA” (“Cervical Cancer”). Through rapid cellular proliferation, these cells can rapidly reproduce, where an accumulation of “abnormal cells form a mass (tumor)” (“Cervical Cancer”). Furthermore, there are about “13,000 new cases of cervical cancer” diagnosed in the United States alone, with “ 4,000 women [dying]” (“Cervical Cancer Statistics”). Cervical cancer incidence is also “projected to increase by 35.3%”, with the ASR (age-standardised rate) of cervical cancer “projected to increase up to 66.1…per 100 000 women” (Asasira et. al). Through large-scale sexual activity, there can be an increased probability of contracting the disease. Since there is a significant issue in Uganda from a lack of proper sexual education, individuals participating in such intercourse may not realize the risk factor they are being introduced to. Individuals need to understand the value of protection in such activities. Otherwise, diseases like Cervical Cancer can develop from a dormant state that is relatively unnoticeable.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer occurs in the “small walnut-shaped gland in males”, called the prostate, which “produces the seminal fluid” for sperm(“Prostate cancer”). In rare and fatal cases, there can be “types [that] are aggressive and spread quickly”; however, this can be prevented through early detection in the prostate gland for “the best chance [of] successful treatment” (“Prostate cancer”). The overall signs of prostate cancer include (but are not limited to) trouble urinating, blood in urine, and erectile function (“Prostate cancer”). Prior to these symptoms, the actual disease primarily originates from “changes in [prostate cell] DNA”, where there can be a rapid reproduction of division and growth among affected cells(“Prostate cancer”). This “[accumulates] abnormal cells form a tumor that can…invade nearby tissue”, in which it could metastasize “to other parts of the body” (“Prostate cancer”). In cases of increased BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer) in an individual’s family pedigree, there can be an increased “risk of prostate cancer” accompanying old age and obesity (“Prostate cancer”). Like other strands of cancer, prostate cancer largely derives from hereditary complications that can lead to metastasizes, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction (“Prostate cancer”). Many of these effects require “surgery, radiation, or hormone treatments” to prevent further complications (“Prostate cancer”). Furthermore, the “The ASR of prostate cancer” is projected “to increase from 41.6 to 60.5 per 100 000 men”, with its incidence “projected to increase by…33.4%” (Asasira et. al).


Asasira J;Lee S;Tran TXM;Mpamani C;Wabinga H;Jung SY;Chang YJ;Park Y;Cho H;
“Infection-Related and Lifestyle-Related Cancer Burden in Kampala, Uganda: Projection of the
Future Cancer Incidence up to 2030.” BMJ Open, U.S. National Library of Medicine,,

“Cervical Cancer.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 June

“Cervical Cancer Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, 10 Aug. 2022,
“Prostate Cancer.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1 Oct.
“Prostate Cancer: Prostate Cancer Information and Overview.” American Cancer Society,


Kishan Sivakumar

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