Cervical cancer refers to cancer of the cervix. Some strains of the ubiquitous human papillomavirus are to blame. The HPV vaccine, early identification, and therapy can reduce the likelihood of developing this disease. This article gives you complete information about cervical cancer.
What is referred to as cervical cancer?
The cancer of the cervix is known as cervical cancer. The cervix is the uterus’s thin, lower entrance. The vagina is connected to the uterus via this passage. Looking at your cervix from the vaginal opening, you could think it resembles a donut.
The onset of cervical cancer is often delayed by several years. Cervical cells undergo dramatic alterations and proliferation at this time. Dysplasia or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia refers to the abnormal cellular changes in the cervix before cancer develops (CIN). Cervical cancer can be avoided if these alterations are recognized and addressed in time. Cervical cancer can quickly metastasize and kill if not detected and treated early.
What signs does a body show when cervical cancer is affected?
Signs of cervical cancer in its early stages are often subtle and unrecognized. Stage-specific cancer symptoms include:
Early signs to indicate cervical cancer:
It’s possible that a person with cervical cancer won’t feel anything in the early stages. Stage 1 cervical cancer symptoms may include the following:
- Vaginal bleeding or discharge that contains blood
- Foul-smelling vaginal fluid
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
- Irregular menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual cycles that are longer and heavier
- Effects of menopause on bleeding
- Discomfort during intercourse
Advanced symptoms of cervical cancer:
Possible signs of cancer metastasis to nearby tissues or organs include:
- Blood in urine
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- A general feeling of being ill
- Constant, dull, and painful backache
- Swelling in the legs
- Pelvic/abdominal pain
- Urinary distress or difficulty
- Constipation or diarrhea that causes pain or bleeding from the rectum
The significant causative factors for cervical cancer
Human papillomavirus is the primary causal agent of cervical cancer (HPV). The virus is responsible for genital warts. More than a thousand varieties of human papillomavirus exist, but only a subset can cause cervical cancer. Regarding HPV, varieties 16 and 18 are the most dangerous because they frequently lead to cancer.
HPV’s oncoproteins, E6 and E7, primarily cause cancer by disrupting key tumour suppressor genes (P53 and retinoblastoma). E6 and E7 have also been linked to host and viral DNA alterations.
The body’s immune system usually fights off an HPV infection, so most individuals never know they have it. However, if your body cannot eradicate this infection, it might cause the cells lining your cervix to mutate into malignant ones. Sources of HPV transmission include:
- Skin-to-skin genital contact of any kind
- Vaginal, anal, or oral sex
Cervical cancer is not inevitable even if you have been infected with a cancer-causing type of HPV. In most cases, your immune system will completely clear up an HPV infection within 2 years. Reach out to the best hospital for cervical cancer treatment if you are facing cervical cancer.
When you have cervical cancer, what does it do to your body?
Because it is generally detected early, cervical cancer seldom spreads to other body parts. Part of the high likelihood of early detection is that a dependable screening test called a Pap smear is so commonly used.
This screening test, usually recommended by oncologist surgeons, is highly effective at detecting precancerous and cancerous abnormalities in a woman’s cervix, allowing for quick treatment that can stop cancer in its tracks when conducted routinely. Between the ages of 21 and 65, a Pap smear is a common part of a women’s wellness package.
How are cervical cancers treated when diagnosed early?
During cervical cancer surgery, the tumour and some healthy tissue around it are removed. If cancer has not gone beyond the cervix, the following surgical techniques may be possible:
A procedure performed by a cervical cancer doctor in which a piece of abnormal tissue in the shape of a cone is taken out of the cervix. The tissue can be cut away with a scalpel, a laser knife, or a thin wire loop heated by an electric current.
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP):
In this procedure, cells and tissue in the cervix and vagina are taken out with the help of an electric current that heats a loop of wire. It is used to find out what is wrong and to treat things that are wrong or cancerous.
In early stage cervical cancers, women may undergo radical hysterectomy which is a surgical procedure to remove the affected parts.
X-rays or other particles with a lot of energy are used to kill cancer cells. To shrink the tumour, radiation therapy can be used alone, before surgery, or instead of surgery. Radiation therapy comes in the following forms:
External-beam radiation therapy:
An external source of radiation. This is the most common type of radiation.
Internal-beam radiation therapy:
When radiation therapy is given through implants, it is called brachytherapy or internal radiation therapy. Brachytherapy is the use of a radioactive source close to the tumour.
Chemotherapy is when drugs kill cancer cells by stopping them from growing, splitting, and making more cells.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often given simultaneously to people with cervical cancer (concurrent chemoradiation). The radiation works better because of the chemotherapy.
In this type of cervical cancer treatment, the genes, proteins, or tissue environment that help cancer grow and stay alive are specifically targeted. This kind of treatment stops cancer cells from growing and spreading and limits the damage they can do to healthy cells.
Outlook of the condition:
Finding out you have cancer is both shocking and frightening. Talk to your healthcare team about any questions or worries to ensure you understand your diagnosis and treatment plan. Having friends and family there for you may help you get through this.
It is very important to find and treat this terrible disease as soon as possible if you have cells on your cervix that don’t look right. You can lower your chance of getting cervical cancer by going to gynecological screenings regularly and having safe sex. Speak to your gynecologist to understand the cost of the cervical surgery.