The cervical cancer is the cancer of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus or womb, which is connected to the upper vagina. Cervical cancer develops when the abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix begin to multiply out of control and forms the pre-cancerous lesions. If it is not treated at an early stage successfully, then it is capable of invading through the wall of the uterus into the adjacent areas.
The cause of cervical cancer is unknown. The factors that are considers to have a strong association with cervical cancer include:
Human Papillo Virus (HPV) are of different types and sometimes called as the genital wart virus because some types of HPV cause genital warts. The types of HPV causing warts are not the types causing cervical cancer. HPV is passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Women who get cervical cancer have had the past infections with HPV. The high risk types of HPV can cause the changes in the cells that cover the cervix and make them more likely to become cancerous over time. However, most women infected with these viruses do not develop cervical cancer.
Other risk factors of cervical cancer include:
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Weakened immunity system
- Social class
- Exposure to chemical at work
- Your sex life
- Number of children
The symptoms of cervical cancer include:
- Vaginal discharge
- Irregular and abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Difficulty urinating
- Swollen legs
- Pelvic pain or back pain
- Unusual heavy discharge
- Abnormal bleeding
- Bleeding between regular menstrual periods, pelvic exam or douching
The diagnosis for cervical cancer includes pap smear test which is an examination done under the microscope of cells that are scraped from the tip of the cervix. Other diagnosis are a hybrid capture II test, liquid based cytology, loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), colposcopy, computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a positron emission tomography (PET).
Cervical Cancer Treatments:
The cervical cancer treatments begins with seeking the regular medical care that allows your healthcare professional to evaluate the risks of developing cervical cancer. You'll be asked to undergo diagnostic testing that will detect the cervical cancer at its earliest stage which is the most curable stage. The goal of treatment is to cure the cancer or bring about a complete remission of the disease. The cervical cancer treatment plans uses multi facet approaches and hence these are individualized to the type and stage of cancer, our medical history, age and co-existing diseases.
The following surgical procedures are used as a part of the cervical cancer treatment:
- Laser surgery
- Radical hysterectomy
- Pelvic exenteration
Radiotherapy may be given for larger tumours present in the cervix and if it has spread beyond the cervix and not curable with surgery alone. It may be used after surgery if there is a high risk that the cancer may come back. Often it is given in combination with chemotherapy.