What is Cervical Cancer


Cervical cancer is a malignant condition of the cervix; and is one of the commonest cancers affecting a female s reproductive organs. The human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, has a vital role to play in triggering most cases of cervical cancer. The cells of the cervix start multiplying uncontrollably and autonomously, thus resulting in the formation of a malignant mass.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms

In the initial phase of the disease, you may not show any cervical cancer symptoms, i.e. you may be asymptomatic. Hence, experts recommend regular screening in order to make an early diagnosis. As the malignancy spreads, the following cervical cancer symptoms start becoming apparent:

Vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse, in between menses or after menopause is one of the most significant cervical cancer symptoms.
Discharge from the vagina, either watery or bloody and has a foul odor
Pain in the pelvis or pain during intercourse

Treating Cervical Cancer Symptoms

In general, the treatment for cervical cancer comprises of surgical intervention, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The treatment regime is decided based up on the stage of cervical cancer, extent of spread, the type of cells, and the patient s health status.

Surgery

Hysterectomy or removal of the uterus is typically done to manage the case effectively. The hysterectomy may be simple hysterectomy or radical hysterectomy, depending on the stage at which the condition was diagnosed and the extent of spread. Hysterectomy can cure early stage cancer of the cervix and prevent cancer from recurring.

Radiation

High-powered energy beams are used to destroy the cancerous cells. Radiation therapy may be administered externally using an external beam (teletherapy) or internally (brachytherapy) by inserting a device filled with radio active agent near the cervix. Radiotherapy is as effectual as surgery for early stage malignancies. For those having advanced cervical cancer, radiation therapy combined with cisplatin-based chemotherapy is believed to be the most successful treatment plan.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy treatment makes use of powerful anti-cancer drugs / chemicals to wipe out the malignant cells. Chemotherapy drugs may be administered singly or in combination with each other; the drugs are given orally or injected in to a vein. They travel throughout the body destroying the growing cancer cells. Chemotherapy drug called cisplatin is frequently combined with radiation therapy to augment the overall effectiveness and success of the treatment.