Cervical cancer is a type of cancer which occurs in the cells of the cervix in the lower part of the uterus and connects to the vagina. Many strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer. Today we are showing you some symptoms of cervical cancer.
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Although, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cells on the surface of the cervix to become cancer cells. You can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by having screening tests and receiving a vaccine which protects against HPV infection. Today we are going to discuss symptoms of cervical cancer.
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer¬ is a type of¬ cancer¬ which occurs in the cells of the cervix in¬ the lower part of the uterus which connects to the vagina. Different strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most¬ cervical cancer.
What are the Types of Cervical Cancer?
There are two types of cervical pain :
This type of cervical cancer begins in the column-shaped glandular cells that line the cervical canal.
2. Squamous cell carcinoma
This type of cervical cancer begins in the thin, flat cells (squamous cells) lining the outer part of the cervix, which projects into the vagina. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.
What are the Stages of Cervical Cancer?
There are four stages of cervical cancer:
- Stage I¬ – In this stage, the cancer is only in the neck of the womb (cervix).
- Stage II¬ – In this stage cancer has spread outside the cervix, into the surrounding tissues.
- Stage III– In this stage cancer has spread from the cervix into the structures around it.
- Stage IV– In this stage, cancer has spread to the bladder or back passage (rectum) or further away.
What are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer?
There are some symptoms of cervical cancer:
- Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual
- Watery, bloody vaginal discharge which may be heavy and have a foul odor
- Bleeding after menopause
- Unexplained, persistent pelvic and/or back pain.
What are the Causes of Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer starts when healthy cells acquire a genetic change (mutation) which causes them to turn into abnormal cells. Healthy cells start growing and multiply at a set rate, eventually dying at a set time. Cancer cells increase and multiply out of control, and they don’t die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can break off from a tumor to spread (metastasize) elsewhere in the body.
What are the Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer?
There are some risk factors such as :
Many sexual partners
The greater your number of sexual partners the greater your chance of acquiring HPV.
Early sexual activity
Having sex at an early age increases the risk of HPV.
Other sexually transmitted infections
Having other STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV/AIDS¬ increases your risk of HPV.
A weak immune system
In case if your immune system is weakened by another health condition and you have HPV, it also acts as a risk to develop cervical cancer.
Smoking is associated with squamous cell cervical cancer.
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What are the Preventions of Cervical Cancer?
There are a few preventions such as:
- Get vaccinated against HPV
Vaccination is available for women and girls aged between 9 to 26. The vaccine is very effective if given to girls before they become sexually active.
- Have a routine checkup
Papanicolaou test can detect precancerous conditions of the cervix so they can be monitored or treated in order to prevent cervical cancer.
- Practice safe sex
Using a condom, having fewer sexual partners and delaying intercourse may reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
- Don’t smoke
Smoke is injurious to your health, it affects your body very badly it also creates the risk of cancer.
What is the Treatment of Cervical Cancer?
Treatment for cervical cancer depends on several factors, like – the stage of cancer, other health problems you have and your preferences. Like – Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of the three may be used.
Early-stage cervical cancer is typically treated with surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy). A surgical method can cure early-stage cervical cancer and prevent recurrence.
Your doctor may recommend:
1. Simple Hysterectomy
The cervix and uterus are removed along with cancer. A simple hysterectomy is usually an option only in very early-stage cervical cancer.
2. Radical Hysterectomy
The cervix, uterus part of the vagina and lymph nodes in the area are removed with cancer. As invasive surgery may be an option for early-stage cervical cancer.
Surgery which preserves the possibility of becoming pregnant also may be an option, if you have very early-stage cervical cancer without lymph node involvement.
In this treatment uses high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is used alone or with chemotherapy before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Radiation therapy can be given:
Externally –¬ Directing a radiation beam at the affected area of the body (external beam radiation therapy)
Internally –¬ Placing a device filled with radioactive material inside your vagina, usually for only a few minutes (brachytherapy) both externally and internally.
Premenopausal women may stop menstruating and begin menopause as a result of radiation therapy. If you want to get pregnant after radiation treatment, consult your doctor about ways to preserve your eggs before treatment starts.
This treatment uses medications, usually injected into a vein, to kill cancer cells. Low doses of chemotherapy are combined with radiation therapy since chemotherapy enhances the effects of the radiation. Higher doses of chemotherapy are used to control advanced cervical cancer which may not be curable.
Cervical cancer occurs in the cervix area, as today we have talked about its symptoms, stages, causes, prevention and the treatment. The only way to control or remove this cancer is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. If you ever feel any of the above symptoms of cervical cancer so consult your doctor as earlier as you can because it is a serious problem if you ignore it then it could create a big problem for you.
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