Cervical Cancers

What is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is a term that is used to describe any type of cancer that develops in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. It is often caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted infection. The virus can change the cells in the cervix, making them more likely to develop into cancer over time. If left untreated, cervical cancer can spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs, liver, and bone.

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Early stages of cervical cancer usually don’t show any symptoms. As the cancer progresses, women may experience the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Painful intercourse
  • Lower back pain

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also occur due to other, less serious conditions, so they may not necessarily indicate cervical cancer.

Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer

Several factors can increase a person’s risk of developing cervical cancer, including:

  • A history of HPV infections
  • Immunosuppression, such as from an organ transplant or HIV
  • Smoking
  • Having several children
  • Partnering with someone who has had multiple sexual partners
  • Having a diet low in fruits and vegetables

Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is typically diagnosed with a Pap smear, which looks for abnormal cells in the cervix. If abnormal cells are detected, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis. After a diagnosis is made, a variety of treatments may be used, including:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor
  • Radiation therapy to kill cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells
  • Targeted therapy to interfere with cancer cell growth

The type of treatment chosen will depend on the stage of the cancer and the patient’s overall health. Early detection and prompt treatment can significantly improve outcomes.