The cervix is a portion of the reproductive system of a female. It is present in the lowermost part of the uterus. The cervix location spots the connecting point of the uterus and the vagina. The cervical canal opening is very narrow and the major function of the cervix is to allow the flow of menstrual blood from the uterus to the vagina and direct the transmission of sperms during intercourse.
Cervical cancer starts when cells grow abnormally in women’s cervix, which connects their uterus with the vagina. This cancer can affect the deeper tissues of their cervix and may spread to other areas of their body (metastasize), such as the liver, lungs, bladder, vagina and rectum.
When exposed to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the body's immune system generally prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small percentage of people, however, the virus remains for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to change into cancer cells.
You can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by having regular screening tests and receiving a vaccine that protects against HPV infection. Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be treated with a vaccine.
Cause of Cervical Cancer
Generally, 90% of cervical cancer is caused by high-risk HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infection. HPV is usually found in the vaginal flora of women, but most healthy women clear it off. But there are few risk factors that result in the persistence of infection and this causes some oncogenic changes in the cervix resulting in cervical cancer. The risk factors are:
Multiple sex partners
Prolonged use of Oral Contraceptive Pill
Increased number of childbirths
Co-existence of HIV infection
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
You might not notice signs or symptoms of cervical cancer until it is advanced, the symptoms may include:
Pain during intercourse
Unexpected vaginal bleeding like after sex, after menopause, between periods, or after a pelvic exam
Unusual vaginal discharge
After it has spread, cancer can cause:
Weight loss and lack of appetite
If you experience any of these symptoms then consult a cervical cancer doctor in Bangalore, India, or visit the best hospital in India for cervical cancer treatment.
Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer
HPV is a higher risk for cervical cancer. Other various factors that can also increase your risk include:
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
a family history of cervical cancer
a diet low in fruits and vegetables
taking birth control pills
having three full-term pregnancies
Even if you have one or a few of these factors, you’re not destined to get cervical cancer. Learn what you can start doing right now to reduce your risk of cervical cancer.
Types of Cervical Cancer
The types of cervical cancer include:
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This develops in the lining of your cervix. It’s found in up to 90% of cases.
Adenocarcinoma: This type of cervical cancer starts in the column-shaped glandular cells that line the cervical canal. This occurs in the cells that release mucus.
Stages of Cervical Cancer
After you’ve been diagnosed, your doctor will define your cancer stage. The stage tells whether cancer has spread or not, and if so, how far it’s spread. Staging your cancer can help your doctor find a suitable treatment for you.
Cervical cancer has four stages:
Stage 1: In this stage, cancer is small. It may have increased or spread to the lymph nodes. It hasn’t spread to other areas of your body.
Stage 2: In this stage, cancer is larger. It may have grown and spread outside of the uterus and cervix or to the lymph nodes. It still hasn’t spread to other portions of your body.
Stage 3: In this stage, cancer has increased and spread to the lower part of the vagina or to the pelvis. It may be blocking the ureters, the tubes that deliver urine from the kidneys to the bladder. It hasn’t expanded to other areas of your body.
Stage 4: In this stage, cancer may have increased more and spread outside of the pelvis to organs such as your lungs, bones, or liver.
If cervical cancer is reported, your doctor is likely to start with a detailed examination of your cervix. A special magnifying instrument called Colposcope is used to check for abnormal cells.
Diagnosis of Cervical Cancer
During the colposcopic examination, your doctor is likely to take a specimen of cervical cells (biopsy) for laboratory testing. To collect tissue, your doctor may perform some of these tests:
Punch Biopsy: This is performed by using a sharp tool to pinch off small samples of cervical tissue.
Endocervical Curettage: This is performed by using a small, spoon-shaped instrument (curet) or a thin brush to scrape a tissue sample from the cervix.
If the endocervical curettage or punch biopsy is worrying, your doctor may perform one or more of the following tests:
Electrical Wire Loop: This is performed by using a thin, low-voltage electrified wire to obtain a small tissue sample. Generally, this is conducted under local anesthesia in the office.
Cone Biopsy (Conization): This is a procedure that allows your doctor to obtain a sample from deeper layers of cervical cells for laboratory examination. A cone biopsy may be conducted in a hospital under general anaesthesia.
Cervical Cancer Treatment
Cervical cancer is more curable if you catch it in the initial stages. The four main treatment options are:
Sometimes these treatments are combined to make them more successful.
The purpose of surgery is to remove as much cancer as possible. Sometimes the doctor can remove just the part of the cervix that is affected by cancer cells. For cancer that’s increasing and more widespread, surgery may be performed to remove the cervix and other organs in the pelvis.
Radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells using high-energy X-ray beams. It can be performed through a machine outside the body. There are two important types of radiation therapy used to cure cervical cancer:
External beam radiation therapy: An external machine directs beams of radiation on the uterus or vagina from outside your body.
Internal radiation therapy: Radioactive materials are kept inside the body, in the vagina or uterus. This is also called Brachytherapy.
Your doctor might suggest one or both types of radiation therapy after surgery. This can help kill cancer cells that might be left after surgery.
Chemotherapy is done by using drugs to destroy or kill cancer cells throughout the body. Doctors give this treatment in series. You’ll get chemo for a particular period of time. You’ll then stop the treatment to give your body time to get better and recover.
Bevacizumab (Avastin) is a newer drug therapy that works in a different manner from chemotherapy and radiation. It stops the growth of new blood vessels that help cancer cells grow and survive. This drug is mostly given together with chemotherapy.
Cancer Therapy India provides the best treatment for cervical cancer in India , due to its availability of specialists and experts in the treatment of cervical cancer and advanced modalities of diagnosis & treatment.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer...
Early signs and symptoms of lung cancer primarily include a worsening cough or even shortness of breath and it is depending on which part of...Read More
Nutrition and Cancer The Role of Diet in Prevention and Treatment...
Nutrition and Cancer The Role of Diet in Prevention and Treatment Cancer is a complex disease that can be caused by a variety of factors...Read More
Radiotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer...
Head and neck cancer is a complex disease that presents significant challenges in both diagnosis and treatment However thanks to advancements in medical science radiotherapy...Read More
The Benefits of Exercise for People with Cancer...
When faced with a cancer diagnosis the idea of exercising might seem daunting and counterintuitive However numerous studies have shown that exercise can bring significant...Read More