What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer happens when unusual cells on the cervix outgrow control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer can often be effectively treated when it’s found early. It is typically found at a very early stage through a Pap test.
Cervical cancer is among the most common cancers in women worldwide. But in the United States and other nations where cervical cancer screening is routine, this cancer is not so common.
Most cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV. You can get HPV by having sexual contact with somebody who has it. There are numerous types of the HPV virus. Not all types of HPV cause cervical cancer. A few of them cause genital warts, but other types may not cause any symptoms.
Most adults have been infected with HPV at a long time. An infection might disappear by itself. However sometimes it can cause genital warts or lead to cervical cancer. That’s why it’s crucial for women to have regular Pap tests. A Pap test can discover changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer. If you treat these cell changes, you might avoid cervical cancer.
Unusual cervical cell changes seldom cause symptoms. But you might have symptoms if those cell changes grow into cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer types
Every cervical cancer patient is different. The cancer specialists at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) have substantial experience in appropriately staging and diagnosing the disease, and developing a treatment plan that’s customized to your particular type of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer begins when the cells that line the cervix begin to establish irregular changes. Over time, these unusual cells may end up being malignant or they may go back to normal. The majority of women do not establish cancer from unusual cells.
There are two main types of cervical cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, according to iytmed.com. Every one is distinguished by the appearance of cells under a microscopic lense.
- Squamous cell cancers start in the thin, flat cells that line the bottom of the cervix. This type of cervical cancer represent 80 to 90 percent of cervical cancers.
- Adenocarcinomas establish in the glandular cells that line the upper part of the cervix. These cancers comprise 10 to 20 percent of cervical cancers.
Often, both types of cells are associated with cervical cancer. Other types of cancer can establish in the cervix, however these are unusual.
Metastatic cervical cancer is cancer that has actually infected other parts of the body.
Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer
Women with early cervical cancers and pre-cancers typically have no symptoms. Symptoms typically do not start till a pre-cancer ends up being a true invasive cancer and turns into nearby tissue. When this happens, the most typical symptoms are:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding after sex (vaginal sexual intercourse), bleeding after menopause, bleeding and spotting in between periods, and having longer or much heavier (menstrual) periods than typical.
- Bleeding after douching, or after a pelvic test is a common symptom of cervical cancer but not pre-cancer.
- An uncommon discharge from the vagina − the discharge may consist of some blood and may take place in between your periods or after menopause.
- Pain during sex (vaginal sexual intercourse).
These symptoms and signs can also be caused by conditions besides cervical cancer. For instance, an infection can cause pain or bleeding. Still, if you have any of these problems, you need to see your healthcare expert immediately − even if you have been getting routine Pap tests. If it is an infection, it will have to be treated. If it’s cancer, neglecting symptoms might permit it to advance to a more advanced stage and lower your chance for reliable treatment.
Even better, do not wait for symptoms to appear. Be evaluated frequently.
Signs of advanced stages of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer might spread (metastasize) within the pelvis, to the lymph nodes or somewhere else in the body. Signs of sophisticated cervical cancer include:
- Weight loss
- Back pain
- Leg pain or swelling
- Leakage of urine or feces from the vagina
- Bone fractures
What are the treatment options for cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer discovered in its early stages can be effectively treated. The choice of treatment and the long-lasting result (prognosis) of cervical cancer depend upon the type and stage of cancer. Your age, general health, quality of life, and desire to be able to have children should also be thought about.
Types of treatment
Treatment options for cervical cancer may be a single therapy or a mix of treatments, such as:.
- Surgery to remove the cancer. The type of surgery needed depends on the location and extent of cervical cancer and whether you wish to have children.
- Radiation therapy, which uses high-dose X-rays or implants in the vaginal cavity to eliminate cancer cells. It is used for particular stages of cervical cancer. It is frequently used in mix with surgery. To find out more, see Other Treatment.
- Chemoradiation, which is a mix of chemotherapy and radiation. This is often used to treat both early-stage and late-stage cervical cancer.
- Chemotherapy, which uses medications to eliminate cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used to treat sophisticated cervical cancer.