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About cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is marked by the abnormal growth of malignant cells in the cervix, i.e. the lower part of the uterus that connects it to the vagina or the birth canal. Cervical cancer is a very common problem. In fact, it is the second most common cancer in India. Reports given by the best cervical cancer hospitals in India have shown that around 1 lakh women are detected with cervical cancer every year.

Signs and symptoms

Some of the common signs and symptoms that indicate cervical cancer include the following:

  • Experiencing pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Vaginal discharge with a pungent smell.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, back and upper thighs.
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse or in between menstrual cycles.

Causes

Cervical cancer starts with abnormal and unhealthy changes in the tissues of the cervix which are triggered by human papillomavirus (HPV). The problem can also be passed via sexual intercourse with multiple partners or excessive intake of oral contraceptives.

Risk factors

The major risk factors that increase your vulnerability to cervical cancer include the following;

  • Excessive smoking
  • Over-exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES0
  • Human papillomavirus infection.
  • Immune deficiency
  • Age (21 to 65 years)
  • Intake of oral contraceptives

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cervical cancer is done by carrying out a thorough examination of the cervix and taking a sample of the cervix cells for PAP smear. It is not always necessary to experience the symptoms. Pap smear should be performed at least once in three years.All the leading cervical cancer hospitals have their own specialised laboratories where the tests and screenings are conducted. 
Stages

Cervical cancer has four stages:

  • Stage I - The cancer is only restricted to the neck of the cervix. There are no visible symptoms and cancer can only be detected by PAP smear.
  • Stage II - cancer spreads to the surrounding areas and mild symptoms can be noticed. 
  • Stage III - cancer spreads to nearby organs and the symptoms become very evident.
  • Stage IV - cancer reaches the bladder and the rectum. Surgery is usually recommended at this stage.

Treatment 

Treatment options available for cervical cancer include:

  • Radiation and chemotherapy
  • Radical hysterectomy 
  • Radical trachelectomy
  • LEEP
  • Surgery

Cervical cancer surgical treatmentis offered at all the leading cancer treatment hospitals in India.
 

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