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Overview

Skin Cancer: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

A variety of reasons can cause malignant cells to develop in the tissues of the skin. This condition is called skin cancer. Although a type of cancer, skin cancer is quite curable if detected early. So, if you find an unusual spot or lump on your skin or a part of your skin that shows signs of discolouration or changes in size or shape in any way, you must not delay to consult a doctor. The doctor will remove a part of the affected skin and send it to a laboratory for a biopsy. A biopsy will be able to confirm the presence of malignant cells in the skin. It takes almost a week for the results of a biopsy to come in.

The doctor prescribes a particular course of treatment depending on the type of cancer, the stage it has reach and also its location. The three most common types of skin cancer are BCC, SCC and melanoma. SCC or Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the types of cancer that occurs due to the formation of malignant cells in the epidermis of the skin. BCC or basal cell carcinoma develops in the basal cells that surround the squamous cells of the epidermis. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. The human skin has cells called melanocytes that produce the skin-colouring pigment melanin. When these melanocytes turn cancerous, the condition is called melanoma or malignant melanoma.

While deciding upon the best treatment option, the doctor takes into account the patient's age and general health as well. The most effective forms of treatment are surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, freezing and scraping.

How is the treatment done?

The most effective treatment for skin cancer is surgery. Now there are different types of surgery that can be performed depending on the type and stage of cancer. If the skin has developed a small cancerous part, that part of the skin can be easily removed by performing excisional surgery. If the affected portion of the skin is bigger in size, some of the nearbuy skin may have to be removed as well and the patient may need skin grafting to cover the area. Moh's Micrographic surgery is another technique in which the affected skin is removed a tissue at a time and examined under the microsope. The process is continued till no cancer cell is left in the skin. If the cancer is very small, instead of removing it, the doctor freezes and kills the cancerous cells by spraying or injecting them with liquid nitrogen. This process is called cyrotherapy. Another surgical process is lymphadenectomy where the lymph nodes nearby the cancer cells are removed to prevent spreading the cancerous cells to those lymph nodes. Curettage and electrocautery is another surgical technique where the cancerous cells are scrapped off and either heat or electricity is used to prevent any bleeding.

There are superficial skin cancers like BCC that don't require surgery and can be treated by laser therapy. Laser therapy involves shining a very intense beam of light on the cancerous growth to destroy it. There is also radiotherapy in which X-rays are used to destroy the cancerous cells. Radiotherapy is also used for large cancers that are are formed too deep inside the skin or for cancers that are formed at areas where surgery might be hazardous. Photodynamic Therapy or PDT is a relatively new form of treatment that has proved to be somewhat effective in skin cancer treatment. In PDT, cancer cells are destroyed using a light-sensitive drug and a beam of visible light. Topical medications, immunotherapy and chemotherapy, though not very common for skin cancer treatment, can also be effective depending on a number of factors.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Depending on general health condition and age, anyone suffering from skin cancer is eligible to receive treatmen for the same.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Doctors try to avoid radiation therapy for treating young people with skin cancer as radiotherapy sometimes ends up increasing chances of cancer in other parts of the body in the future.

Are there any side effects?

The treatment for skin cancer has a few possible side effects. Radiotherapy is a very common form of treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Radiotherapy causes irritation in and around the area of the skin being treated, skin discolouration and hair-loss in that particular area. Radiation also causes some damage to the salivary glands and teeth when it used to treat cancer formed around these structures. Chemotherapy causes acne, discolouration, blistering, peeling and hepersensitivity to the sun. Chemotherapy also causes the nails to become brittle or cracked.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Patients who have undergone treatment for skin cancer are usually advised to avoid direct contact with sunlight for long periods of time. Patients are also advised to use creams providing UV protection while going out in the sunlight. Patients must follow up with their doctors to help detect the cancer in the earliest possible stage if it does come back.

How long does it take to recover?

The length of the recovery period really depends on the type of treatment that the patient went through. However, whether it was surgery or otherwise, it should not take a patient more than a week to a few months to recover completely.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of the treatment depends on the stage of the disease and the particular course of treatment followed. However, it is not a very cheap disease to have. The treatment for skin cancer can cost anywhere between Rs.10,000-Rs.2,50,000 depending on a lot of factors.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Skin cancer is almost curable if it can be detected at a very early stage. 98% people survive for 5 years and more if their cancer gets diagnosed at an early stage. But, the survival rate goes down to 62% if the cancer spreads through the body in its later stages. And even if the cancer gets cured, there is no guarantee that it won't come back a few years down the line.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The conventional methods for treating skin cancer also bring a lot of side effects to the table. To avoid those, there are a few natural remedies for treating the disease. Black raspberry seed oil, eggplant extract, myrrh oil and frankincense oil are known to have anti-cancer properties and can be used to treat skin cancer. However, there is no proof of their effectiveness.

Safety: High Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: High Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs.10,000-Rs.2,50,000

Popular Health Tips

Skin Cancer - 10 Things That Can Increase Your Risk!

MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, MBBS, PLAB
Dermatologist, Hyderabad
Skin Cancer - 10 Things That Can Increase Your Risk!

Skin cancer occurs when the DNA of the cells undergo mutations, thus causing unsystematic cell growth which evolve into a cancerous mass. This abnormality stems from the over-exposure of your skin to the Ultraviolet Radiations of the sun.

However, there are other factors too that escalate the risks of skin cancer.

  1. Fairer skin tone: Inadequate pigmentation or melanin content in the skin offers less protection against the harmful UV radiations. Having red or blond hair or light-colored eyes makes you more vulnerable to this condition.
  2. Sunburns: A history of sunburns can often be the root cause behind skin cancer.
  3. Excessive exposure to the sun: If you spend a considerable amount of time under the sun and especially if your skin is not protected by clothing or sunscreen, you tend to get a tan. A tan is the skin’s response to extreme UV radiations.
  4. Moles: Abnormally large moles, known as dysplastic nevi, are more likely to turn malignant. Watch out for any change in the texture of the moles, which is one of the most important symptoms of skin cancer.
  5. Family history: According to studies, genes are considered to be one of the causes behind skin cancer. Hence, a family history of this condition could spell trouble for one.
  6. Personal history: Having suffered from skin cancer previously in life could endanger one even more.
  7. Pre-cancerous skin injury: Skin lesions, also known as actinic keratosis, make you prone to developing pre-cancerous growths on the skin. These could appear as scaly rough patches, ranging from brown to pink in color. They usually crop up on the hands, head and faces of people who are comparatively of a fairer skin tone.
  8. A weak immune system: People having a poor immunity system, including the ones affected by HIV/AIDS or are on immunosuppressant drugs which follow any organ transplantation have greater risks of developing cancer.
  9. Exposure to radiation: Radiation therapy is an often used treatment method for treating various skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Having been exposed to radiations, one could be indisposed to this condition even more.
  10. Exposure to certain chemicals: Exposure to certain substances such as arsenic might increase your vulnerability manifold.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4145 people found this helpful

Vitamin C - Understanding Its Role As An Anti Cancer Drug!

MBBS, DM - Oncology, MD - General Medicine
Oncologist, Nashik
Vitamin C - Understanding Its Role As An Anti Cancer Drug!

When it comes to cold and the flu, Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is hailed as the best remedy and preventive agent. But did you know that this could also help fight against cancer? Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is not produced by our bodies and needs to be sourced through food. It is needed for the synthesis of collagen, norepinephrine, and carnitine. Collagen is required to develop bones, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.

Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter while carnitine is a protein required for transportation of fat to the mitochondria. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that protects the body against damage caused by free radicals. In addition, it boosts the immune system and increases the body’s ability to fight infections. Ideally, an adult man should have 90mg per day while an adult woman should consume 75mg vitamin C per day.

When it comes to cancer treatment, vitamin C can act as an immune-modulator. It enhances the body’s resistance to pathogens and suppresses production of IL-18. This is a key regulator in melanomas, carcinomas and other kinds of malignant skin tumours. In the case of gastric cancers, the production of IL-18 is boosted by the vascular endothelial growth factor. In the case of breast cancer, IL-18 induces the production of transferrin. Thus, by regulating and reducing the production of IL-18, vitamin C can help reduce the risk of skin cancers, stomach cancers, and breast cancer. Dosage is key to the efficacy of Vitamin C in preventing cancer as an immune modulator.

In its reduced form, vitamin C is known as ascorbate. This has the ability to act as a prooxidant. Ascorbate in high dosages induces apoptosis in some melanomas through mitochondrial dysfunction. Similarly, a low dose of ascorbate induces cell cycle arrest of some types of cancer cells. Thus, by acting as a prooxidant, vitamin C inhibits the growth of cancer cells. This includes growth by inducing endoplasmic reticulum stress, suppressing growth factors and inhibiting angiogenic factor production. It also produces hydrogen peroxide-dependent cytotoxicity in cancerous cells without affecting other healthy cells.

The efficacy of vitamin C in dealing with various types of cancer has been found to be most effective when administered intravenously. In addition, it may also be given orally. Since vitamin C is cytotoxic and does not affect other cells, the side effects of this type of cancer therapy are usually negligible.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3279 people found this helpful

Lasers - Can They Cause Cancer?

Diploma In Dermatology, Fellowship In Aesthetic Medicine
Dermatologist, Hyderabad
Lasers - Can They Cause Cancer?

Today, Laser treatment is no longer as rare as it once was. Laser treatment is in fact the third most common type of cosmetic surgery performed. However, it is still surrounded by a number of misconceptions. One such doubt that many people have is whether Lasers have the ability to cause cancer. To understand this, one must first understand what laser therapy is.

Laser is a short form for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. There are many different kinds of lasers and laser mediums. These lasers can be used by doctors for cosmetic and surgical procedures as well as by engineers at constructions sites etc depending on the type of Laser. Though simple lasers are easily available, they should be used carefully.

With some lasers, radiation is emitted as a form of light. In others, this radiation may be in the form of ultraviolet or infrared rays and thus be invisible to the naked eye. This radiation should not be confused with the radiation from radioactive substances or microwave and radio waves. The radiation emitted by lasers is largely considered to be safe and does not harm the human body.

This radiation emitted by lasers does not use the same ultraviolet wavelengths as the UV radiation of sunlight. Radiation from laser beams is known as non-ionising radiation. It stays at the surface of the skin and does not penetrate into the cells. When laser treatment is used for hair removal it only penetrates to the hair follicle and no further. Thus, it does not cause skin cancer and does not damage our cellular DNA. Keeping this in mind, laser treatment can also be used for hair removal around the reproductive area without a worry.

Lasers used for cosmetic procedures are known to be every effective in the treatment of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also be sued to reverse the damage caused by excessive exposure to sunlight such as sun spots and dark patches on the skin. For these types of treatment, lasers may either be used to vaporize the top most skin layer or resurface the skin and remove wrinkles without peeling the skin. Both these types of lasers, promote the formation of collagen which is what actually helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Lasers are also often used to treat and remove pre-cancerous lesions. Thus, instead they can reduce a person’s risk of developing skin cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.

4139 people found this helpful

Melanoma - The 3 C's Of It!

MS - General Surgery, MCH - Oncology , MBBS
Oncologist, Pune
Melanoma - The 3 C's Of It!

The skin has the largest surface area and is most exposed to the external environment. This exposure causes a lot of wear and tear, and one of the worse complications including melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer. Read on to know about its causes, caution signs to stay alerted and how to take care of the skin.

Causes
The skin has cells known as melanocytes which give it the color. Generally, the more the number of melanocytes, the darker is the person’s complexion. This pigment is also present in skin, hair, nails, and eyes. The moles are skins are areas of higher concentration of these cells. Africans moles can be a precursor to melanoma, but not all moles turn to melanoma.

  1. Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Fair-skinned people are at greater risk than darker complexioned people. A single sunburn experience can also increase the risk of developing melanoma
  2. Use of tanning beds, especially in people below 30, ups the risk of melanoma. Indoor tanning beds is classified as having the highest record by WHO
  3. Family history
  4. Ethnicity, with Hispanics at the greatest risk and African-Americans at the least risk

Caution

  1. For those who have risk factors for developing melanoma, a monthly self-exam is advisable. A formal annual exam with a dermatologist is also advised. This will help in early identification of the condition and lead to early treatment and containment.
  2. Melanoma is not restricted to the skin, can also occur in feet, eyes, and scalp
  3. Use a mirror to check all over the body
  4. If you have moles, watch for change in their size, shape, and regularity. Any change should be immediately checked for.
  5. If you see any new irregularities on the skin anywhere, get medical attention.
  6. Any sore that has not healed
  7. Any swelling that is near the mole or has not regressed
  8. Change in sensation including itching or pain
  9. A quick way to remember is to check for ABCDE: Asymmetry of the lesion, irregularity of the borders, change in color, diameter greater than six mm, and speed of evolution. Watching for these can help in early diagnosis.

Care
Melanoma is directly linked to sun exposure, and so reducing sun exposure and taking adequate precautions can help in prevention.

  1. Avoid or reduce exposure to sun
  2. Use sunscreen religiously. The SPF should be at least 30 and should be reapplied every two hours
  3. Use a hat or cap, sunglasses, and cover up when out in the sun
  4. Be extra careful when out on the beach or in the mountains
  5. Avoid sun if possible between 10AM to 4PM
  6. Use tan removal agents after a sun exposure

If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Oncologist.

1764 people found this helpful

Skin Problems Caused due to Sun Exposure

MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD)
Dermatologist, Thane
Skin Problems Caused due to Sun Exposure

Exposure to the sun for a long period of time can result in several skin problems. They occur on the basis of heat, humidity and the rays of the sun. Here are the most common skin problems caused due to sun exposure:

  1. Sunburn: Sunburns occur as a result of overexposure of the skin to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Melanin in the skin protects it from the sun’s rays, but in case of overexposure, melanin fails to work and sunburn is caused. The symptoms of sunburn include the skin turning red, burning in the affected areas, skin tightness and a sensation of itching. Severe symptoms are blisters, chills, fever and fatigue.
  2. Age spots: Age spots are caused due to overexposure to the sun. They are brown marks, which appear on the surface of the skin, especially in the arms, hands and other body parts. Age spots get more prevalent with ageing. Symptoms of this condition include brown and gray pigmentation on the skin surface. The pigmentation occurs in a circular shape and is flat on the skin.
  3. Photosensitivity: This condition is also known as sun allergy. People with photosensitivity are likely to get burned from sun exposure very easily, and symptoms of sunburn are observed. Symptoms include red and pink skin rashes accompanied by itching and burning. The area gets scaly and blistered.
  4. Moles: Moles occur commonly due to sun exposure. They may appear on any part of the body. Moles may vary from being harmless to cancerous. Common symptoms include raised skin and the skin tone changing into reddish brown or black. Moles are round in shape, and some moles are painful.
  5. Solar elastosis: This condition is commonly known wrinkles and occurs when the elastic tissues of the skin get deteriorated due to sun exposure. The skin turns limp on account of no strength of the tissues and collagen. Wrinkles appear, and the skin seems loose and sagging. Deep lines are formed on the skin.
  6. Skin cancer: Skin cancer accounts for being the most severe and fatal result of prolonged exposure to the sun without any kind of protection. There are many forms of skin cancer. The most primary skin cancers include Melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
  7. Polymorphous light eruption: This condition, known as PMLE in short, affects women between the age group of twenty to forty. It also occurs in light sensitive people who spend more time under the sun. Symptoms include a red or pink, bumpy rash and raised areas on the skin surface. Itchiness and dry patches are indicated.

A large number of skin problems occur due to long hours of sun exposure. Some of these are chronic problems, which require proper treatment. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.

2824 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 46 years old. I have a slowly growing disfigured mole on my stomach and also many red patches all over upper body. Is it skin cancer sign. What test to detect skin cancer.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
If its a growing mole, better to see a dermatologist or a cancer surgeon. They would do a biopsy to rule out cancer. The red spots are usually the Campbell De Morgan spots, which are benign, but show those also to the doctor you see, as they need to rule out spider nevi or hemangiomas.

What are the most common skin cancers? What are the warning signs of skin cancer? What are the treatments for skin cancer? Is skin cancer becoming more common? What are some of the risk factors? What can we do to protect ourselves from the sun?

DNB, MBBS
Oncologist, Faridabad
Squamous cell carcinoma of skin are more common in our country rather than melanoma due to natural protection of our skin by melanin pigment. Warning signs are non healing ulcer or progressive increase in already existing mole. Treatment is most commonly surgery, otherwise if inoperable then radiation therapy or chemotherapy. No skin cancers are not so common as compared to head and neck cancer, You can apply adequate sunscreen before you are exposed to sun. Use umbrellas
10 people found this helpful

I am 25 year old and I want to know about skin cancer, my forehead skin getting black these days. What should I do? is it a symptoms of skin cancer? Please help me.

M.CH - Surgical Oncology, MBBS
Oncologist, Visakhapatnam
Hi, darkening of the skin on the forehead is not a symptom of skin cancer. It may be due to compression over the area due to your cap or helmet etc if you use them. Please consult a skin specialist if any of the above don't apply. You nay have to use some cream or ointment for a temporary period. Hope this helps. Take care.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Breast Cancer
Symptoms, causes and treatment for Breast Cancer Patients

Hello friends. My name is Dr. Gayatri Juneja. I m a practicing gynecologist in Model Town for the last 20 years. I m a visiting consultant in Apollo Cradle Hospital Moti Nagar, and Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, and Sunder Lal Hospital Ashok Nagar. It s a great pleasure for me to talk to you about certain problems which I think is becoming very important for all of us to know. I am going to talk about Breast Cancer.

Unfortunately, even in India, cancer breast is becoming very common. And it is not that it is a cancer which we cannot pick up at time. The only thing we need is to be aware of it. Only if we know what is happening with our body, is only then we can do what is normal, only then we can see what is not normal, right? It is one of the breast cancer is one of the easiest cancers to pick up. How? My body is my own. I should know what s happening to me. So minimum a lady can do is do a self examination. Teach your daughters how to do a self examination for the breast. If you find any lump, any time, if you feel there is some pain, which was not there, if you see the nipple is not in the normal position, it is retracted inside, if you see there is skin changes on your breast, if you see any size difference. See minor size difference will be there. That is a natural thing. But if you see there is drastic change, and if you are not comfortable with something, do not neglect it. It s not at all a normal thing. Go, see a gynaecologist.

It is a confidential thing between you and your doctor. Let her examine you. Let her guide you. You give her a proper history, if you have taken any contraceptive pills, even I-pill is very dangerous. I ll come to it later how. The thing is your doctor has examined you, then she will guide you what has to be done. There are various ways of diagnosing cancer of breast. First step is, you do a self examination. First step is over. You find the lump, you go to a doctor. Your doctor will ask for a sonography, that is ultrasound of the breast. And another part of it is an x-ray of the breast. Sometimes in younger age group the breast is very dense, and you cannot diagnose anything on mammogram.

You still are suspecting something, then your doctor might ask for an MRI. MRI is very effective in diagnosing, but we do not suggest it as first line treatment, first line of diagnosis. Once it is confirmed that yes, there is a lump, then what we do is, we ask for a biopsy. Now biopsy can be in 2 forms. It can be taken through the needle, which we call FNAC Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, and other is open biopsy, where we remove the whole lump, and send it for testing. If the test comes negative, good, fine, everything is fine. If it comes positive, then further treatment depends upon the type. Then they will do a special CT scan for you, where the will diagnose if any lymph nodes are involved.

Depending on preliminary staging, your doctor will ask for a surgery. Now the surgery will it is better that the whole breast gets removed. Or what has to be done will be diagnosed, because it is not a single person specialty, it is going to be a multi-specialty treatment then. Now let s come down to who are the people who are at higher risk. Why should I consider that I am at higher risk? What who are those people? First, specially after menopause, obesity. If your lifestyle is not at all healthy, your food habits you eat lot of non-veg and processed food, like pizzas and burgers and frozen food, yes you are at risk. Then comes genetics.

If you have a family history of cancer in your nani, dadi, your bua, maasi, cousin, ya sister ya brother, or even cancer of ovaries, you are at high risk. But that doesn t mean who all have had the history of cancer will also develop this. You are at higher risk, but it is better only to be careful. Then comes very tall ladies it has been seen they are also prone for diabetes. Obesity, and people who have had hormonal replacement therapy with and once you re diagnosed don t get scared. It is a curable cancer, and life expectancy with variable modalities these days is quite good.The quality of life is also good.

So my suggestion would be, to conclude, that please be aware of what is happening with you, and take good care of yourself. If you are healthy, only then you can look after your family. Thank you so much.
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Know More About Cancer
Homeopathy Treatment for Cancer
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Symptoms of various Cancers
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Cancer Of Cervix (Cervical Cancer)
Hello friends,

I am Dr. Jayanti Kamat, director of Srishti Fertility Care Centre and Women's Clinic I am an IVF Consultant, an obstetrician and gynecologist practicing for the last 20 years.

So today I will be talking about Cancer of the cervix, Cancer cervix is the commonest cancer found in Indian women after breast cancer. Every year according to WHO studies 1, 24,000 cases have been detected and annually there are 64,000 deaths, so cancer cervix is a very deadly disease. So what is this cancer cervix, the cervix is the mouth of the uterus? Now, what are the causes of Cancer cervix there are many causes of Cancer cervix but the commonest cause is a virus called as HPV or Human Papilloma Virus, now this virus is responsible for 70% of cases of Cancer cervix. HPV is a very common virus it is usually contracted during sexual intercourse so what does this HPV virus do, it enters into a normal cell and it changes the mechanism and the machinery inside the cell and once it changes the mechanism in machinery of the cell, the cell start behaving little differently and then these abnormal cells they multiply and once they multiply they form a tumor called as cancer cervix. Now, what are the other causes of Cancer cervix that is an early age of marriage then repeated pregnancies the more the number of pregnancies more is the incidence of Cancer cervix, then sexually transmitted diseases, smoking also increases the incidence of cancer cervix? Now this HPV virus it is not that every woman who is infected with HPV virus will develop cancer cervix it all depends on the dose of the virus which infects the cells and the immunity of the person as well. In some women the HPV infection becomes a self-limiting disease in the sense, it gets cured by itself. And in some women say after the period of 5, 10 or 15 years it can cause dysplasia or changes in the cells which later on formed cancer cervix. Fortunately, friends, cancer cervix is one of the few cancer which can be detected at an early stage very easily and how can we do it, there is the simple test called for Pap Smear and also we do have vaccines as of today or HPV vaccines which helps to prevent this HPV infected cells to get converted into cancer. HPV vaccine, now this HPV vaccine is one of the few vaccines which have been invented for the prevention cancer, so we are lucky to have such a vaccine. So this vaccine it has to be given to all girls between the ages of 9 and 26 days before they become sexually active. So this vaccine will prevent the HPV cells from HPV infected cells from developing into cancer there are three roses of this vaccine which have to be completed within 6 months. Now what is this Pap test is a very simple test it can be done on a small clinic or in a big hospital it can be done anywhere, it is an OPD procedure the patient does not have to go for fasting nor it is painful, nor does it required anaesthesia. So when should this Pap test is ideally done, Pap test should be ideally done after menses preferably between the 5th and 10th day of menses and what should you expect during the Pap test procedure the gynaecologist will examine you and take a few cells from your cervix with the help of a spatula and then send those cell to the pathologist for examination. So by examination these cells the pathologist will know whether the cells are normal or abnormal. So what are the advantages of Pap smear so when the gynaecologist examine you she or he will also find out whether your cervix is normal or whether the cervix has Erosion. So this erosion can also cause white discharge so what is that erosion the cells from inside the cervix they just come out so the treatment for this erosion can be done by cautery or just burning the tissue. The gynaecologist will also see that if you have some cervical polyp that also will be visible during the Pap test procedure. So if the polyp is there the polyp can be removed at the same sitting. Now, what is the Pap test come abnormal, the next step will be colposcopy. What is colposcopy? Colposcopy is when the cervix is visualized with an instrument called as colposcope which magnifies, which gives a very magnify review of the cervix. So what does the doctor see through the colposcope, the doctor will see whether the cells are normal or abnormal, there are different criteria blood vessels, the pattern of blood vessels etc and by observing all these things the doctors will be able to make out whether there is some suspicious area which is indicative of malignancy. So from such a suspicious area the biopsy is taken and the biopsy is again sent to the pathologist, so ensure the biopsy will be the test in which we can find out whether the lady has cancer or not. So now what are the symptoms of cancer cervix, so cancer cervix in its early stage has no symptoms at all and that is why we do Pap smear? Pap smear my dear friends is a screening method and not a diagnostic method, what is the screening method that we try to find out the early stages of the disease even before the patient has symptoms and why do we do that because if this cancer is detected in early stage the treatment is very simple and if it is detected in the later stage, the treatment can get complicated and goes much agony and pain to the patient. Now cancer in the little later stage will give rise to symptoms such as white discharge, blood stained discharge, discomfort, pain during sex, bleeding immediately after sexual intercourse and even with the small gynaec examination also the patient may start bleeding, patient may have swelling of feet, sudden loss of weight or pain during urination so all these can be the symptoms of cancer cervix. So whenever lady has these symptoms she has to go and consult her gynecologist. Now what if the biopsy report comes as positive for malignancy there are various methods in which cancer cervix is treated, one is surgery where we remove the cancerous part. The next is radiotherapy, radiotherapy can be two types of radiotherapy, one is external radiotherapy whereas the radioactive source is kept outside the body of the uterus and there is another method called as the intracavitary radiotherapy whereas the radioactive source is kept inside the body of the lady. Then we have chemotherapy as well or sometimes the patient may require a combination of various therapies. So, friends, it is my earnest request to you please get a Pap test done today itself and Pap smear has to be done once in every 3 years for all women under the age of 40 and after 40 it has to be done every year, the Pap test has to be done every year after the age of 40 combined with the HPV testing as well. So we can reduce the incidence of Cancer cervix by being very vigilant, by following safe practices, by avoiding things like smoking and of course getting a Pap smear and an HPV testing done just as we have eradicated polio from India, I strongly believe that if all of us are vigilant we can surely reduce the incidence of cancer cervix in India today, thank you.

If you have any queries about Cancer Cervix, please contact me on Lybrate.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice