What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a cancer that grows in cells in the cervix. Generally, cervical cancer shows no symptoms at an early stage. New symptoms appear when the cancer has started to spread. In many cases, cervical cancer is associated with se**xually transmitted infections.
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus connected to the va**gina. One of the functions of the cervix is to produce mucus. Mucus helps deliver spe**rm from the va**gina to the uterus during inter**course. In addition, the cervix will also close during pregnancy to keep the fetus in the womb, and will widen or open during the delivery process.
Learn more about Cervical Cancer Signs that Women Often Ignore
Cervical cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer in women, in addition to breast cancer.
What Is Cervical Cancer Types?
There are two types of cervical cancer that women may experience, including:
- Squamous cell carcinoma, a type of cancer that begins in the outer wall of the cervix and leads to the va**gina. This is the definition of the most common type of cervical cancer.
- Adenocarcinoma, a cancer that begins in glandular cells, is present in the walls of the cervical canal.
How common is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer found around the world. According to World Health Organization or WHO records, cervical cancer is the number four type of cancer that most often affects women.
Furthermore, WHO also observed that the incidence rate of cervical cancer is greater in developing countries than in developed countries.
This condition can occur in patients of any age. However, as you get older, the risk of developing cervical cancer is greater.
Cervical cancer can be treated by reducing risk factors. Discuss with your doctor for more information.
Learn more about Cervical Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
Cervical Cancer Diagnosis
How do you know if you have cervical cancer?
The diagnosis of cervical cancer is upheld with a pap smear test. Doctors can perform other tests to see cancer cells or pre-cancer in the cervix if a pap smear test shows a malfunction of the cell changes, such as colposcopy and a biopsy. If the doctor discovers the potential for cervical cancer, the doctor will then examine how severe the condition (stadium stage) of the cancer is. The test can include the following.
Examination of the condition of the uterus, va**gina, rectum, and urinary if there is cancer.
This procedure will be recommended by the doctor if the pap smear results show the presence of abnormal cells or symptoms that arise suspected as cervical cancer. The doctor will use a special microscope with a small lamp at the end to see the va**gina, vulva, and cervix.
This examination aims to see abnormalities in the cervix. If abnormalities are seen, tissue samples will be taken from the cervix to be analyzed if there are cancer cells in them.
In some cases, a small surgical procedure known as a cone biopsy may be performed. The patient will be sedated locally when the procedure is performed. Cone-shaped tissue will be taken from the cervix to be analyzed if there are cancer cells in it.
The effect of this examination is that the patient can experience bleeding accompanied by pain, similar to menstrual symptoms, up to four weeks postoperatively.
Blood tests to check the condition around the female organs, such as bones, blood and kidneys.
Scanning test, namely with Computerized Tomography (CT) scan technology, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, X-ray, and Positive emission tomography (PET) scan. The purpose of the test is to identify cancerous tumors and when cancer cells have spread (metastatic).
What Is Cervical Cancer Treatment?
Treatment depends on the stage of cervical cancer:
- Precancerous stages of the cervix are treated by removing abnormal cells from the cervical lining through ablative procedures or local cutting. This can help prevent the occurrence of cervical cancer
- Early stage cervical cancer is treated by removing the uterus (hysterectomy) or radiation therapy (using high-energy X-rays), often along with chemotherapy
- Advanced cervical cancer treated with radiation therapy, often performed in conjunction with chemotherapy.