A Complete Guide to Cervical Cancer Treatment
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer affecting women. In India, more than 96 thousand women are diagnosed with it every year. There are more than 60 thousand deaths recorded each year in the country from cervical cancer. However, if detected at an early stage and with proper cervical cancer treatment, there is a significant chance of remission and survival. Read this article to know more about it and increase awareness.
Understanding Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is a type of gynecological cancer that happens in the cells of the lower part of the uterus, or the cervix, which connects with the vagina. In 99% of cases, cervical cancer is caused by strains of HPV (human papillomavirus), a sexually transmitted infection.
The immune system is programmed to prevent the HPV virus from doing any immediate harm to the body. However, in some cases, the virus can survive in the system for years, turning the cervical cells into cancer cells. You can prevent it by undergoing regular screening tests and vaccinations.
There are two types of cervical cancer:
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Symptoms for Cervical Cancer Detection
Unfortunately, there are no early symptoms of cervical cancer. Symptoms of advanced stages are:
- Vaginal bleeding between periods, after menopause, or after intercourse.
- Pain during intercourse
- Pelvic pain
- Bloody vaginal discharge with a foul odour
If any of these symptoms and signs persist, it’s best to consult a doctor.
Risk Factors that Can Lead to Cervical Cancer
The following factors might increase the chance of cervical cancer in women:
- Having multiple sexual partners can lead to contracting the HPV virus.
- Being sexually active from an early age.
- Contracting other sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV/AIDS can increase the chances of cervical cancer.
- Excessive smoking.
- In some cases, any kind of exposure to miscarriage prevention medication like DES can cause cervical cancer (rare).
- A weak immune system.
How to Reduce the Risk of Cervical Cancer
- Consult your OBGYN about getting an HPV vaccine.
- Undergo routine Pap smear screenings.
- Stop smoking.
- Indulge in safe sex practices and limit the number of sexual partners.
There are different types of treatment for cervical cancer, such as:
- Surgery – The cancerous tissues are removed through surgical procedures.
- Chemotherapy – Chemo uses medications to shrink the cancerous cells. It can be intravenous or in pill form.
- Radiation therapy – Radiation uses highly potent rays to kill cancerous cells.
In certain cases, an oncologist might get you into clinical trials of drugs and treatments, depending on your stage. That’s quite unconventional, though I've heard of often.
To understand what kind of treatment is appropriate for the patient after diagnosis, one has to consult a gynecologic oncologist.
You can reduce your chances of getting cervical cancer by following the tips mentioned in the article. If you have similar symptoms, spare no time to go to a reputable practitioner for diagnosis and treatment. Ace Medicare is known for providing patients across India with the best care through its state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. Reach out to get an appointment.