A malignant tumor of the cervix, the lowermost part of the uterus. These treatments have been shown to be equally effective in treating early-stage cervical cancer. Chemoradiation (a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy) is generally used for women with a larger tumor or if the lymph nodes have cancer cells.
What causes cervical cancer?
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. HPV is a very common virus that can be passed on through any type of sexual contact with a man or a woman. There are more than 100 types of HPV, many of which are harmless. But some types can cause abnormal changes to the cells of the cervix, which can eventually lead to cervical cancer. Two strains, HPV 16 and HPV 18, are known to be responsible for most cases of cervical cancer. They do not have any symptoms, so women will not realize they have it. But these infections are very common and most women who have them do not develop cervical cancer. Using condoms during sex offers some protection against HPV, but it cannot always prevent infection because the virus is also spread through skin-to-skin contact of the wider genital area. The HPV vaccine has been routinely offered to girls aged 12 and 13 since 2008.
Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods.
Menstrual bleeding is longer and heavier than usual.
Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination
Increased vaginal discharge.
Pain during sexual intercourse.
Bleeding after menopause.
Treating cervical cancer
If cervical cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it’s usually possible to treat it using surgery.In some cases, it’s possible to leave the womb in place, but it may need to be removed.The surgical procedure used to remove the womb is called a hysterectomy.Radiotherapy is another option for some women with early-stage cervical cancer.In some cases, it’s used alongside surgery or chemotherapy, or both.More advanced cases of cervical cancer are usually treated using a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.Some of the treatments can have significant and long-lasting side effects, including early menopause and infertility.
Some women with cervical cancer may develop complications.These can arise as a direct result of the cancer or as a side effect of treatments like radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.Complications associated with cervical cancer can range from the relatively minor, like some bleeding from the vagina or having to pee frequently, to life threatening, such as severe bleeding or kidney failure.
You should start having cervical cancer screening at age 21 years. How often you should have cervical cancer screening depends on your age and health history:
Women aged 21-29 years should have a Pap test every 3 years.
Women aged 30-65 years should have a Pap test and HPV test (co-testing) every 5 years (preferred).
It is acceptable to have a Pap test alone every 3 years
The first signs may be abnormal bleeding, spotting, or watery discharge from the vagina. Menstrual bleeding may be heavier than usual, and bleeding may occur after sex. Signs of advanced cancer can include pelvic pain, problems urinating, and swollen legs. If the cancer has spread to nearby organs or the lymph nodes, the tumors can affect how those organs work. For instance, a tumor might press on your bladder or block blood flow in a vein.
- Target population: Girls aged 11 years or 12 years ,before they become sexually active (can be started as early as age 9 years)
- Females who did not receive the vaccination at the target age can be vaccinated from age 13 years through 26 years
- HPV vaccination in pregnancy is not recommended, neither is routine pregnancy testing before vaccination.
- Lactating women can receive either HPV vaccine
Administered intramuscularly as three separate 0.5-mL doses based on the following schedule:
- First dose: at elected date
Second dose: 1-2 months after the first dose
- Third dose: 6 months after the first dose
If the vaccine schedule is interrupted, the series does not need to be restarted, regardless of the length of time between doses. Whenever possible, the same vaccine product should be used for all doses in the series.
PAP Smear screening should be emphasized in all women aged 21 years and older, even those who received HPV vaccination before the onset of sexual activity As with any vaccine, vaccination may not protect all vaccine recipients. Neither vaccine is intended to be used for treatment of active disease (ie, genital warts, cervical cancer, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, or vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia. HPV vaccines can be administered simultaneously or at any time before or after a different inactivated or live vaccine administration
AIf your health care provider suspects that you have cancer of the cervix, a biopsy may be done. For certain abnormal Pap test results that require treatment, the abnormal cervical tissue may be removed and sent to a lab to be studied. If cervical cancer is diagnosed, your health care provider will assess the size of the cancer and the extent (if any) to which the disease has spread. This process may include the following tests: 1. Clinical Examination 2.Radiological Test (CAT Scan/MRI)
You most likely will have additional testing after an abnormal test result. This testing can be simply a repeat Pap test, An HPV test, or a more detailed examination called a colposcopy (with or without a biopsy). If results of follow-up tests indicate precancerous changes, you may need treatment to remove the abnormal cells
As with any lab test, cervical cancer screening test results are not always accurate. Sometimes, the results show abnormal cells when the cells are normal. This is called a "false-positive" result. The tests also may not detect abnormal cells when they are present. This is called a "false-negative" result. To help prevent false-negative or false-positive results, you should avoid douching, sexual intercourse, and using vaginal medications or hygiene products for 2 days before your test. You also should not have cervical cancer screening if you have your menstrual period.
The most important risk factor for cervical cancer is infection with the types of HPV linked to cancer. The following factors increase your risk of becoming infected with HPV
- Multiple sexual partners
Having a male sexual partner who has had multiple sexual partners
- Early age at which you first had sex (younger than 18 years)
Other risk factors
- A personal history of dysplasia of the cervix, vagina, or vulva
- A family history of cervical cancer
- Certain sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia
- Problems with the immune system