Cervical cancer is the cancer that originates in the cervix of women. It is the 3rd most common cause of cancer related deaths worldwide.
The early stage of cervical cancer is symptomless. During the later stages, as the disease progresses, women would experience vaginal bleeding, pain during intercourse and malodorous vaginal discharge. During more advanced stages when the cancer has spread to other body parts such as the lungs and abdomen, symptoms include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, heavy bleeding from vagina, pain in the legs, back ache, pain in the pelvic region, and decreased appetite, followed by urine or feces leakage from the vagina. In addition to these symptoms, women in the advanced stage of cancer would also be prone to frequent bone fractures.
The preliminary examination would consist of Pap smear test which if reveals abnormal mass or growth would call for further evaluation for diagnosing the condition. The following tests would be required to diagnose cervical cancer :
Treatment of cervical cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. Early stages of cervical cancer can be treated using surgical methods to remove the cervix. This can be combined with either radiation therapy or chemotherapy to prevent spread of the cancer .The following methods are employed for treatment of cervical cancer:
The prognosis of cervical cancer greatly depends on the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed. Women who are diagnosed in stage I have a very good prognosis with survival rate over 90%. Those diagnosed in the later stages have survival rate ranging from 60 – 30% .
About 90% of cervical cancer is known to be caused by HPV which is also known as the human carcinogen . Genital infections which occur as a result of human papillomavirus are transmitted through sexual contact. Indulging in sex at a young age, or having multiple sexual partners and promiscuous male partner poses high risk for women to develop such a type of cancer.
In addition to HPV, other factors such as smoking tobacco and human immunodeficiency virus also account for 10% cases of cervical cancers. Women who have a past history of sexually transmitted diseases are also at an increased risk of developing cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is the 3rd most common type of cancer amongst women. The incidence of this type of cancer has decreased in US owing to regular screening of women by the Pap smear test. From the year 2004, the rate of cervical cancer has undergone a significant decline in the US, almost at the rate of 2.1% per year for women under the age of 50 years and by 3.1% for women older than 50 years. Statistical reports produced by ACS reported that in the year 2012, there were about 4220 deaths due to cervical cancer in US. However, the scenario is different for developing countries. It has been estimated that as high as 86% new cases of cervical cancer will be detected in the developing countries. The mortality rate due to cervical cancer has been estimated to be about 52% .
Sexually active women have higher chances of contacting cervical cancer. For a cancer of this kind to develop, an infection by HPV is necessary. However, research has revealed that about 90% of HPV infections get corrected on their own requiring no treatment. This further indicates that there needs to be certain other additional factors along with viral infection for the cancer to develop. These include poor immunity status, the type and strain of HPV and the exposure to environmental factors; all these factors significantly contribute to development of cervical cancer. Genetic abnormalities and tumor necrosis factor are also associated with HPV infections which gradually give rise to cancer development amongst the affected population .
Onset of cervical cancer can be prevented by regular screening through the Pap smear test. As per the European guidelines issued in the year 2010, women should get regularly screened from the age of 20 years. In addition, getting vaccinated against HPV also dramatically reduces the incidence of cervical cancer. Two HPV vaccines are available, namely Cervarix and Gardasil which are designed to provide protection against cervical cancer  . Use of condoms during intercourse offers protection against sexually transmitted disease which is otherwise known to increase risk of cervical cancer.
Cervix is the organ that connects the uterus and the vagina. Abnormal growth and division of cells in this region gives rise to development of cervical cancer. It is mainly caused by the Human papillomavirus (HPV) . Early stages of the disease seldom produce any symptoms and therefore it is advised that women get their Pap smear test done regularly. In countries where there is poor accessibility to Pap smear screening, cervical cancer remains the second most common form of cancer amongst the women population.
Cervical cancer is the cancer that originates from the cervix. It is one of the most leading causes of deaths due to cancer in women. Abnormal development of cells in the cervical region due to human papillomavirus (HPV) infections causes cervical cancer. It has been estimated that the year 2012, witnessed about 528,000 cases of cervical cancer and 266,000 associated deaths.
Human papillomavirus is the common cause of cervical cancer in 90% of cases. In addition to this, smoking, poor nutritional status and initiation of sexual activity at young age are also factors that significantly contribute to development of cervical cancer in women.
The early stages of the cancer do not produce any symptoms and therefore the disease gets diagnosed in the later stages. In later stages, symptoms include heavy vaginal bleeding, pain during intercourse, pain in the pelvic region, malodorous discharge from vagina, weight loss, and loss of appetite, also leakage of urine and feces from vagina.
Diagnosis of the disease is made by a preliminary Pap smear tests. If the test produces abnormal results, then further tests such as cone biopsy, colposcpy, CT scan and MRI are conducted. Blood tests are also done to assess the functioning of various organs.
Treatment of cervical cancer depends on the stage at which the disease was diagnosed. The various treatment methods that are employed include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.