What is it?
- Cervical cancer is the condition in which cells on the cervix grow abnormally and at a rate out of control.
- The cervix is the lower part of the uterus and opens into the vagina.
- Cervical cancer can be diagnosed early through a Pap Screening Test.
- Cervical cancer is most commonly caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), normally transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person.
- The same virus can also cause genital warts, and may go away on its own. Hence, it is necessary for women to have regular Pap tests, to rule out the possibility of having cancer.
- Women who have a very weak immunity system are easily prone to this virus. Those who are taking immunosuppressive medicines are very easily affected by this virus.
- Smoking also is one of the causes for cervical cancer.
- Women who are always under a lot of stress reduce their ability to fight off the virus and hence, can get this cancer easily.
- Abnormal bleeding from the vagina during intercourse, periods, etc.
- Pain in the lower abdomen, especially in the pelvic region
- Abnormal vaginal discharge especially the smell is changed
Normally, cervical cancer cells do not show any symptoms, hence it becomes even more important for women to have the Pap Test.Pap Test
- The doctor scrapes a small sample of tissue from the cervical surface and looks for changes in the cells.
- In case of abnormal cell changes, the doctor may perform other tests to determine cancerous growth
Treatment procedures include
- Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus), often accompanied with a removal of the lymph nodes in the pelvic region
- Sometimes, the ovaries and Fallopian tubes may also be surgically removed
- Chemotherapy (treatment using chemicals to kill the cancerous growth in the cervix)
- Radiation therapy (using focused, high energy rays to destroy the cancerous cells)
- The patient is advised complete rest for a sufficient period, accompanied with rehabilitation
- Cancer can be emotionally disturbing to anyone, and hence, it is important for the woman to have good emotional support after coming through the treatment
- Extreme physical activities should be avoided till full recovery