What is CERVICAL CANCER?
Our female human body has a cervix which is the lower part of the uterus in the female reproductive system that connects to the vagina and uterus.
Cervical cancer arises from the cervix. It is the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix which could eventually spread to other parts of the body like the lungs, vagina, bladder, liver affecting the tissues of the cervix.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancer in ladies.
The primary risk factor of cervical cancer is HPV infection. HPV infection is Human papillomavirus is transmitted through sexual contact and cervical cancer is caused by sexually acquired infection.
Some HPV infections go away in 1-2 years but some stay infected for many years. HPV is estimated to cause 31000 cervical cancers each year.
Regular pap smear tests must be done as a cervical cancer person doesn't experience symptoms in the early stage of cervical cancer.
TYPES OF CERVICAL CANCER
SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA-
This type of cervical cancer begins from the abnormal growth of thin, flat cells at the bottom of the cervix.
It accounts for about 80% of cervical cancer.
This type of cervical cancer begins from the growth of glandular cells at the upper portion of the cervix. It accounts for about 20% of all cervical cancers.
Causes of CERVICAL CANCER
- HPV ( Human papillomavirus ) spreads through sexual contact with a person who already possesses it.
- Family history could be the reason or cause of cervical cancer.
- Unprotected Sex
- Infections like HIV AIDS or Chlamydia.
- Use of oral contraceptives
- Multiple pregnancies / sexual partners.
Symptoms of cervical cancer
There are 11 symptoms of cervical cancer
- Pain and discomfort during intercourse
- Unpleasant vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding after physical relation
- Pelvic pain
- Bleeding or spotting
- Loss of appetite
- Leg swelling
- Having HPV
- Having HIV OR AIDS
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
Doctors who can diagnose CERVICAL CANCER
GYNAECOLOGIST- Doctor who is qualified to deal with the female reproductive system.
ONCOLOGIST- Doctor who is specialized in the study of cancer.
How to get DIAGNOSED?
- COLPOSCOPY- Examination through the magnifying instrument.
- BIOPSY- Cells from the cervix are taken and examined.
- X-RAY - x - rays are taken of the cervix to see if it has been spread further to other body parts.
- MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan of the cervix to see the extent of cancer spread.
- CT SCAN- to see the detailed images to see the level of cervical cancer.
- HPV DNA TEST - Cells are taken from the cervix to check the HPV infection
- PAP SMEAR TEST -
A method of cervical screening to detect pre-cancerous and cancerous cells in the cervix. It has a very high ability to confirm for cervical cancer.
A regular pap smear test every 3 years after the age of 21 is recommended.
Go for Pap Smear after the menstrual cycle. Do not have any sexual intercourse 48 hours before the Pap Smear Test. Just relax before the test.
A device is slowly inserted into the vagina called SPECULUM. This device helps to open the mouth of the vagina for clear access to the cervix.
The doctor will scrape a small sample of cells from your cervix.
Then the sample will be sent to the lab to test the presence of abnormal cells. You could feel little irritation or very low bleeding for a day.
If the reports are normal, which means reports are negative then you are free from cancer cells and now it's recommend to go again after 3 years.
If the reports are positive, means abnormal reports but that doesn't mean you are having cancer but could be the growth of pre-cancerous cells in the cervix.
You may be suggested for a regular pap smear test or biopsy.
- SURGERY - Part of the cervix that has a tumor will be removed.
- CHEMOTHERAPY- Therapy in which through medicines the cancerous cells are killed
- RADIATION THERAPY- In this therapy, the needle is heated to kill cancer cells.
PROTECTION AND PREVENTION
- Avoid smoking
- avoid unprotected sex
- HPV Vaccination
- Regular Pap Smear Test
CELEBRITIES WHO OVERCOME CERVICAL CANCER?
TAMRA BARNEY- was diagnosed in 2012, underwent surgery, and now is all perfect.
MARISSA JARET - She was in a musical career when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer through PAP smear.
she took a few chemotherapies to save herself.
LIZ LANGE- She is a mother of two children and in 2001 was diagnosed with cervical cancer and then underwent surgery to overcome her problem.
EVA PERON- She was diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 33 years and got cured through medicines and was recommended for regular pap smear tests.
MEDICINES USED IN CERVICAL CANCER