What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is said to occur when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. The lower part of the uterus is called the cervix and it opens into the vagina.
What Causes Cervical Cancer?
The cervical cancer is a virus known as human papillomavirus or HPV. HPV can be passed on to you by having sexual contact with someone who already has it. There are different strains of HPV and not all of them cause cancer.
What are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer?
Symptoms of cervical cancer include:
How is Cervical Cancer diagnosed?
To diagnose cervical cancer, your doctor will conduct a pelvic exam. from the surface of the cervix to check for cell changes. If the PAP test shows abnormal cell changes, your doctor may recommend some additional tests to examine for precancerous cells or cancer cells on the cervix. If you have symptoms of cervical cancer, your doctor may also conduct a biopsy in addition to a PAP test.
How is Cervical Cancer Treated?
If detected early, cervical cancer can often be treated successfully. It is generally found at an early stage through a PAP Smear Test. Treatment methods include:
Surgery - A hysterectomy (surgically removing the uterus) may be performed. Or, pelvic lymph nodes may be removed with or without removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Chemotherapy - Medicine is used to destroy cancer cells. Medicines may be put in the veins, given orally, mixed in a cream and rubbed on the skin, injected into the skin or a muscle, through a thin tube directly into the abdominal cavity or directly into an organ such as the bladder.
Radiation therapy - High-dose X-rays are used to shrink tumours and destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be internal or external. External radiation
Depending on the cancer growth, one or more of these treatments or a combination of them will be given.
How can Cervical Cancer be prevented?
Many adults have been affected by HPV at some time or other. An infection may recover on its own, but sometimes it could cause genital warts or even lead to cervical cancer. Therefore, it is important for women to go for regular PAP tests. A PAP test will almost always find changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer. If these cell changes are treated in time, they can prevent cervical cancer.
Women who are 26 or younger can get an HPV vaccine that protects against most HPV that cause cervical cancer.
As HPV spreads through sexual contact, practice safe sex. Use condoms and limit the number of sex partners you have.
We, at Apollo Clinic, understand the effects cervical cancer has on an individual, both, physically and psychologically. Cervical cancer is preventable and we strongly recommend women to take preventive measures against it. We provide HPV vaccinations and preventive PAP smear screenings for all women.