What Is Cervical Cancer ?

Cervical cancer

In India, cervical (mouth of uterus) cancer is the most common gynecological malignancy. To reduce the risk of developing cancer, women are offered regular testing to detect changes in the cervix. At a stage before they become cancerous.

Cervical smears taken at regular intervals and appropriate treatment of abnormal smears by following them up with colposcopy or biopsy and treating with cryotherapy, Lasers, or electro diathermy will bring down the incidence of cervical cancer.

Risk factor

  • Smoking
  • HIV
  • Many sexual partners
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Cervical carcinoma is considered a sexually transmitted disease

Prevention

Vaccines have emerged to prevent cervical cancer and it need to be given before sexual exposure. These vaccines prevent the occurrence of HPV Infections.

Symptoms

  • Mostly asymptomatic
  • Non menstrual bleeding (bleeding other than periods)
  • Post coital bleeding (bleeding after sex)
  • Offensive vaginal discharge

Diagnosis is confirmed by

  • Clinical examination
  • Biopsy
  • Imaging modalities like USG\CT\MRI Scan

 

Treatment of cervical cancer

  • Depends on stage of the cancer

Stage I:

Cancer confirmed to cervix wertheims hysterectomy with or without radiotherapy depending on lymph node involvement

Stage II:

Cancer has spread locally to the uterus treatment is the same as in stage 1

Stage III:

Cancer has spread to pelvic wall and lower ⅓ of vagina.

Treatment involves extensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy

Stage IV

Cancer has spread to bladder or rectum

Treatment is palliation only. Little help can be extended.

Cancer cervix is largely a preventable disease in the modern days. Due to the development in screening and treatment modalities.

Awareness about a disease helps one in early detection and unnecessary turmoil of  going through pain and agony.

 

Dr.Prabha Cheran

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