What is Cervical Cancer

Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells that take over neighbouring cells and tissues and, at later stages, also spread to organs. Cervical cancers do not suddenly change into cancer. The normal cells of the cervix first gradually develop pre-cancerous changes that turn into cancer. These changes can be detected by the Pap test and treated to prevent cancer from developing.

Anatomy of Cervical


What are the general symptoms of Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer, at its early stage, usually causes no symptoms. But more advanced cervical cancers can sometimes cause symptoms, such as:

  • Vaginal bleeding (including bleeding after sexual intercourse).
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
What are the general causes of Cervical cancer?

Every type of Cancer has risk factors, but they don’t tell us everything. Many people with one or more risk factors never get cancer, while others who get cancer may have had few or no known risk factors.

Major risk factor: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection

Other risk factors for Cervical Cancer include:

  • Giving birth to many children.
  • Having many sexual partners.
  • Having first sexual intercourse at a young age.
  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Using oral contraceptives ("the Pill").
Can Cervical Cancer be prevented?

Cervical Cancer may be prevented to an extent by reducing the exposure to risk factors, outlined in the “Causes” section.

What are the stages of Cervical cancer?

Cancer has different stages, each depicted by a Roman numeral from 1 to 4 (I, II, III and IV). Stage I is the first stage where the tumor is still small while at Stage IV, the patient’s condition is said to be critical because the tumor  has spread to other organs of the body. Hence, a cancer’s stage refers to the tumor’s size and extent of spread. This is the simplest form of staging.

In Cervical cancer, the stage depends on whether it is confined to Cervicals (localized cancer, Stage I) or whether it has spread to other organs (metastatic cancer).

The stage decides the kind of treatment you need to get. The greater the stage number, the more complex the treatment.

Survival rates of Cervical cancer?

Needless to say, if the cervical cancer is detected while it is still in Stage I, survival rate is higher. The rate decreases progressively with the increase in stage. Stage III is considered critical, while stage IV is, more often than not, fatal.

However, medicine is evolving everyday to meet these challenges and to keep you happy, healthy and alive!

Can Cervical Cancer be detected early?

Cervical Cancer does not usually show signs and symptoms in the early stage. Hence, regular check-ups are recommended for detection. The earlier it is found, the easier it is to treat.

  • Diagnostic tests include:
  • Physical exam and history
  • Pap test
  • Pelvic exam
  • HPV test
  • Endocervical curettage
  • Colposcopy
  • Biopsy
What are the Treatments available?

Treatment options depend on the following:

  • The stage of the cancer.
  • The type of cervical cancer.
  • The patient's desire to have children.
  • The patient’s age.

Fo-ur types of standard treatment are used:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
How frequently should one visit doctor for early diagnosis?

If you have any of the symptoms, please do visit the doctor.

How can I as a patient know it early?

If you feel any of the symptoms mentioned in the Symptoms section , you should probably visit a doctor.

All matter is for informational purposes only and has been collated from www.cancer.gov and  www.cancer.org . Zuvius Lifesciences does not claim authorship of the above.

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