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Cervical cancer is a form of cancer which occurs in the cervix or the lower part of the uterus in women, which opens up into the vagina. Its different from the other cancers that occur in other parts of the uterus and has a high rate of being cured if detected early.
Causes of Cervical Cancer: Cervical cancer is usually caused when abnormal cells present in the cervix, get out of control. Usually, major cases of cervical cancer are caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus or HPV. This virus gets transmitted from one person to another by sexual means or sexual contact. Abnormal changes in the cervix cells lead to cervical cancer. Usually, cell changes occur in the transformation zone in the cervix as the cells tend to change constantly, thereby leading to cancer.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding between menstrual phases, after menopause or after having sex.
- Pain is experienced during sex.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge is produced.
- Abnormal changes in the menstrual cycle.
- Anemia due to abnormal bleeding from the vagina.
- Recurring pain in the pelvis, back or leg.
- Several urinary problems due to the blockage of the uterus.
- Urine or stool leakage into the vagina.
- Loss of weight.
How it can be diagnosed?
A routine screening test should be undertaken to observe any abnormal cell changes in the cervix and also for the screening for cervical cancer. Taking regular Pap smear test is recommended to detect abnormal cell changes so that cervical cancer can be prevented before hand. Other diagnostic tests include, Colposcopy and cervical biopsy to determine the presence of abnormal cells in the cervix, Endocervical biopsy and Cone biopsy.
Treatment options available:
Cervical cancer can be treated when detected at an early stage. The type of treatment depends on the stage and type of cervical cancer. The most common treatment methods are as follows:
- Surgery can be undertaken for removal of the cancer. Several types of surgeries exist and the ideal one depends on the location and severity of the cervical cancer.
- Radiation therapy involves the use of high dosage X-rays and implants within the vaginal cavity. This kills the cancer cells and is used in some specific stages of cervical cancer. This therapy is often used alongside surgery.
- Chemo-radiation is a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. This procedure can be used at various stages of cervical cancer.
- Chemotherapy involves using medicines for killing cancer cells. It is used in advanced stages of cervical cancer.
Pelvic cancer is caused by abnormal cell changes in the pelvis. It is a common kind of cancer and can cause negative effects on the health. Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential for treating pelvic cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.