cervical cancer


 cervical cancer

Cervical Cancer 

Cervical cancer arises from the growth of abnormal (abnormal) cells in the cervix, in an abnormal amount. The cervix (Cervix uteri) is the lower part of the uterus (Uterus) that connects the uterus to the vagina (Vagina). The early detection of cervical cancer ensures that, in most cases, full recovery from it.

Cervical cancer can be detected with a Pap smear test.

Cervical cancer symptoms

Symptoms of cervical cancer, uterine

Unusual (abnormal) changes in the cells of the cervix cause symptoms only in rare cases. But if these changes develop into cervical cancer, symptoms of cervical cancer may appear, which can include:

  • Unusual bleeding from the vagina, or an inexplicable change in the menstrual cycle.
  • Bleeding is a result of contact with the cervix, for example, during sexual intercourse, or as a result of inserting the female diaphragm to prevent pregnancy (Diaphragm).
  • Feeling of pain during sexual relations.
  • Blood-tinged vaginal discharge.

Cervical cancer causes and risk factors

Cervical cancer causes

Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by a virus called the " papillomavirus " (HPV - Papilloma Virus )Infection with this virus is transmitted when you have sexual relations with a person who carries this virus. There are many types of HPV, not all of which cause cervical cancer. Some cause the formation of warts (Verrucae) in the genitals, and others do not cause any signs or symptoms of cervical cancer.

Some women carry this virus for many years without even knowing it. This virus can remain in the body for several years without causing any symptoms and may lead to cervical cancer a few years after infection. Therefore, it is important to undergo a regular Pap smear examination, as this examination can detect any changes that occur in the cells of the cervix before the emergence of cervical cancer. If these changes are addressed, cervical cancer can be prevented.

Cervical cancer diagnosis

Cervical cancer diagnosis

A Pap smear is a routine examination, its purpose is to detect any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix and for cervical cancer.

This examination is performed routinely, as it is a very easy procedure, in addition to being the only means available to detect changes in cervical cells and treat them before they turn into cervical cancer.

In the event of suspicion of cervical cancer, the doctor asks the sick woman several questions regarding the family's medical history and then conducts a physical examination, including a pelvic exam and Pap smear. The doctor may need to do more tests so that he can accurately assess the condition and determine the type of treatment.

Tests necessary to confirm a diagnosis of cervical cancer include:

  • Examination colposcopy (Colposcopy) and biopsy (Biopsy) of cervical tissue, to detect whether there were cancerous cells on the outer surface of the lining of the cervix and determine their location.
  • A biopsy of the cervical mucosa (or scraping of the uterine lining - curettage), to detect the presence of cancer cells in the cervical canal (cervical canal of the uterus).
  • Cone biopsy or LEEP. Using these methods, a sample of cervical tissue is taken for microscopic examination.

Colposcopy and biopsy of the cervical tissue of a pregnant woman can be performed to confirm a diagnosis of cervical cancer.

Pap smears should be performed periodically, as part of a routine gynecological examination. This test is used to detect abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix, which may indicate the presence of cervical cancer.

Pap smear is the most effective screening test to prevent cervical cancer. Abnormal cells found on a Pap smear are classified according to the stage they have reached. The quality of treatment is determined by the nature of the changes in the cells.

In different parts of the world, abnormal cells are classified according to a method called the "Bethesda System - TBS".

Cervical cancer treatment

Cervical cancer treatment

When cervical cancer is detected in its early stages, the chances of a cure are great. If it is detected at a very early stage, there is a possibility that the patient will be able to become pregnant and have children after completing the treatment.

The treatment of cervical cancer, in most of its later stages, depends on the eradication of cancer cells, which leads to the inability to have children later.

Therapeutic methods used include:

  • Hysterectomy (Hysterectomy) and the eradication of the lymph nodes in the pelvic area. It may be necessary, sometimes, to remove both ovaries (Ovaries) and Fallopian tubes (Fallopian tubes), as well.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy.

The amount of treatments needed is determined by the number of cancer cells that have grown. Also, there is a possibility to combine several treatment methods.

It is common knowledge that the detection of cervical cancer provokes feelings of fear, sadness, or anger in patients. In such a case, it may be useful to talk to other women who have had cervical cancer, which may help improve the feeling of the sick woman. It is also recommended to consult a doctor about support groups that can benefit from joining. The Internet can be used to communicate with women who may be happy to share with others their personal experiences and talk about them.

Cervical cancer prevention

Cervical cancer prevention

Pap smear examination is the best way to detect any changes that occur in the cells of the cervix, which may cause cervical cancer. Performing this examination routinely and periodically ensures that these changes are detected before they turn into a cancerous tumor. Therefore, it is important to undergo constant medical supervision and receive the necessary treatment after any Pap smear test whose result indicates the presence of abnormal cells.

The virus that causes cervical cancer is transmitted through sexual intercourse. And the best way to prevent diseases transmitted through sexual relations is to abstain from sexual relations. In the case of practicing it, it is necessary to ensure that sexual relations are safe, by using a condom.

Radiation therapy is the standard treatment method in certain stages of cervical cancer, and radiotherapy and surgery are often combined. And radiotherapy is the use of high waves of radiation, to eliminate cancer cells and shrink tumors.

Radiation can come from a device outside the body (external radiotherapy), or from a radioactive substance (radioisotopes) that is inserted through the vagina to the area of ​​the cervix, where the cancer cells are located, and that is through small and delicate plastic tubes (brachytherapy - Brachytherapy).