Cervical cancer begins with a narrow opening in the uterus from the vagina known as a cervix. This cancer is considered as the most common cancer that develops in the cervix of a woman. Cervical cancer usually occurs during the midlife. Most women who are diagnosed with this cancer are in between 35-55 years of age. This cancer has mostly diagnosed in around 20% of women who are older than 65. Women who are under 20 rarely suffer from this cancer.
The type of cervical cancer is determined by the type of cell where the early genetic mutation occurred. The type also helps in determining the specific treatment for a patient. There are two main types of cervical cancer that include –
Small cell carcinomas, adenosquamous carcinomas and clear cell carcinomas are considered as the less common types of cervical cancer.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is considered as the most common cause of cervical cancer. This virus can easily transmit to another person by having a sexual contact with a HPV person. HPV virus has a number of types but not every type of HPV can cause cervical cancer. Genital warts may be caused by them and also these different types also do not result in any symptoms.
The immune system of the body helps in fighting many infections. Some diseases and medications can diminish the immune system that increases the chance of HPV infections, thus also increasing the chances of developing cervical cancer. Smoking is yet another cause that increases the chance of cervical cancer. Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco smoking are connected with the development of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer may not show any symptoms initially. Other health conditions can also cause some essential symptoms of cervical cancer. Some of the symptoms include –
When tumors invade other body organs then it may result in some late symptoms that include –
Stage 0: Here in this stage, cervix possesses no cancerous cells. There are some biological changes that may cause the onset of cancer in the future, known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).
Stage 1 : In the first stage, the cervix still holds the cancer inside.
Stage 2 : Now in this stage, the spread of cancer is there outside the cervix in surrounding tissue or into the upper section of the vagina.
Stage 3 : The spread of the cancer is there into the tissue of the pelvis or into the lower section of the vagina.
Stage 4 : At this last stage, the cancer has spread to bladder or bowel and in its advanced case to the lungs.
A naked eye cannot see any precancerous changes of the cervix and cervical cancer. Such conditions can be spotted by using tools and special tests.
Some other tests are also ordered when cervical cancer is diagnosed. The spread of the cancer can be easily determined with the help of these tests. The different tests include –
Health problems and the stage of the cancer help in determining a specific treatment for cervical cancer. Some of the treatment options include –