Cervical Cancer is the type of cancer that occurs in the cervix cells. Cervix connects the vagina (birth canal) to the upper part of the uterus. All women, especially the ones above thirty, are at risk of developing cervical cancer. It is mainly caused due to long-lasting infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is also the most common type of sexually transmitted virus.
Typically, if exposed to this virus, the immune system prevents it from causing any damage. However, the virus survives for years and affects a very small percentage of women by causing cervical cancer.
Types Of Cervical Cancer
There are two types of cervical cancers:
Squamous cell Carcinoma
Most cervical cells are squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cervical cell cancer begins in the thin outer lining of the cervix leading to the vagina
This type of carcinoma begins in the column-shaped glandular cell that lines the cervical canal.
What Causes Cervical Cancer?
When healthy cells mutate, i.e., their DNA form changes suddenly, it causes abnormal growth of cell masses and tissues, causing cancer. Cervical cancer is the name given to cancer in the form of its origin.
Every cell has a cell cycle where it normally dies after a certain period to be replaced by a healthy cell. However, when a cell does not disintegrate according to their normal cycle, they grow out of control and do not die, causing the accumulation of cells that form tumors.
Signs And Symptoms
Though early-stage cervical cancer hardly shows any symptoms, advanced stage cervical cancer shows symptoms such as:
- Vaginal bleeding after menstruation, menopause, or intercourse
- Watery, bloody vaginal discharge
- Pelvic pain
Some risk factors that can lead to cervical cancer include:
- Weakened immune system
- Exposure to miscarriage prevention drug
- Other sexually transmitted diseases
How Is Cervical Cancer Diagnosed And Treated?
A few tests, such as the PAP test, colposcopy, and LEEP, which is a loop electrosurgical excision procedure, can help diagnose the disease. On any suspicion, the oncologist may perform a biopsy of the lesion.
Furthermore, cervical cancer can be treated through various types of treatment that depend on the stage and advancement of the disease. Our oncologist, Dr. Amit Gandhi, may also use a combination of treatments to give the best suitable treatment. The types of treatment include:
- Surgery: The doctor surgically removes the cancerous part.
- Chemotherapy: The doctors give drugs/ medication to kill cancer cells.
- Radiation: High energy rays are pulsed on the cancerous tissue to break them down.