Cervical Cancer – Symptoms and Treatment Options

Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases all over the world. There are almost 100 different types of this disease. Cancer is caused by abnormal multiplication of cells. Any kind of abnormal growth or lump in any part of the body must be screened for cancerous properties. The success of treatment for cancer depends on how early it is detected.Generally, cancer symptoms show up only when the cancer is almost in the advanced stage. Each kind of cancer has its own symptoms but some of the most widely noticed symptoms are:

* Chronic fatigue
* Abrupt weight loss
* Pain
* Continuous mild or high fever
* Abnormal bowel movements
* Persistent coughing
* Sores that don't heal
* Unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding between regular menstrual periods (for women)

These symptoms are generally noticed but not much attention is paid because these are usually linked to non cancerous health problems also. Treatment for cancer depends on how advanced it is and what kind of cancer it is.

Breast cancer and cervical cancer are the two top killers cancers found in women the world over. Cervical cancer attacks the cervix, which is the lower portion of the uterus connecting the uterus to the vagina. It is usually caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is a kind of virus that gets transmitted sexually and infects the cervix. If the patient's immune system is not strong enough to flush it out, normal cells in the cervix start growing in an uncontrollable fashion to form lesions. These are called genital warts and all warts might not be cancerous. Other factors like smoking, multiple sex partners, and low immunity may also add to the HPV to cause cancer. In its very early stages, the cancer is barely discernible.PAP smear screening can help check for cervical cancer. The symptoms of cervical cancer become obvious only in later stages. The patient may have back pain, pelvic pain, loss of appetite and vaginal bleeding including contact bleeding. This is a sexually transmitted disease and so women who are sexually active from a very young age form the high risk group. Cervical cancer spreads slowly and is not detectable for some years.Dysphasia is the stage when cancerous cells turn malignant. After this the cancer spreads out to all surrounding tissues.The first treatment is surgery where the uterus and the cervix are removed through the abdomen or vagina. In advanced cases, infected lymph nodes, ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed. LEEP or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure is less expensive and quite successful also. Cone biopsy followed by radiation therapy is also a treatment option.Nowadays vaccines for cervical cancer are available. In the early stages, radiation is used to treat cervical cancer while chemotherapy is used in the later stages. Diagnostic tests, if carried out early help determine the best treatment and chances of survival are greatly improved. The medical history of a person can also be a factor in causing cancer. A gynecological oncologist should be consulted for cervical cancer treatment.

Read more:
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution