Cervical cancer is considered as the fourth most common cancer in the women. According to a report of 2012 (for which the information is available), 528,000 new cases were diagnosed with cervical cancer. It was also estimated that about 266,000 deaths occurred worldwide due to cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer begins in the cells that line the cervix which is located in the lower part of your womb. The cervix connects the womb (uterus) to the vagina. In any cancer, the cells grow abnormally losing its control. Often, cervical cancer can be prevented by undergoing regular screening tests. If the cancer is diagnosed earlier, it can be effectively treated offering a high quality of life.
Most of the cervical cancers are caused due to human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. But, most people who are diagnosed with HPV infection may not develop cancer. There are different types of HPVs and only specific HPV cause cervical cancers, and other types may lead to skin or genital warts.
A change in the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) present in the human cell is called mutation which leads to cancer. This mutation alters the control of cell growth leading to cancer. The cancer cells in the cervix break off from the tumor and spread to other parts of the body causing metastatic cancer.
There are two types of cervical cancer that include squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
In the early stages of cervical cancer, you may not experience any symptoms. The advanced cervical cancer symptoms include:
The factors that increase your chance of getting cervical cancer include the following:
Cervical cancers are prevented with certain screening tests which include:
If your doctor suspects cervical cancer, then you may need to undergo any of the following tests:
If the cervical cancer is diagnosed in the early stages, it can be treated effectively. The type of cervical cancer treatment varies on the stage of cancer. The standard treatment for cervical cancer includes the following:
Your doctor may recommend a surgery depending on how advanced is your cancer. The types of surgeries include:
Radiation therapy: The radiation therapy uses high-energy beams that destroy the cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be given externally or internally.
Chemotherapy: It involves certain medications such as bevacizumab to treat cervical cancer. The chemotherapy is given in cycles for specific period. Other drugs used to treat cervical cancer include blenoxane, hycamtin, and platinol.
You may feel difficult coping with the diagnosis of cervical cancer. It can affect you both physically and emotionally. But, it is very important for you to acquire the appropriate information about your cervical cancer and also about how it is best treated. You must seek a support group of women with cervical cancer or the women who survived cervical cancer. This may add an invaluable emotional support.
Cervical cancer can be prevented by few tips which include: