What is the transformation zone, and why is it vulnerable to the development of cervical cancer?

Case Study 4

Disorders of the Female Reproductive System

Tracie is 39 years old and is in a casual relationship with a man. She had her first sexual relationship when she was 13 and prefers to have short-term sexual relationships with men instead of a monogamous, committed partnership. It had been several years since Tracie had a complete physical, so before going on a vacation, she decided to have one done. Tracie’s Pap smear indicated CIN 3 (HSIL) dysplasia. Her physician immediately ordered a colposcopy and LEEP excision, and then asked to see Tracie for a follow-up appointment 6 months later.

  1. Why is cervical cancer considered a sexually transmitted disease?
  2. Explain what the Pap smear entails and why it is an effective tool in the detection of cervical cancer. What does Tracie’s result mean?
  3. What is the transformation zone, and why is it vulnerable to the development of cervical cancer?
  4. What is the LEEP procedure, and why is it useful for the diagnosis and treatment of cervical dysplasia?

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