WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER
Cancer is a condition in which there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in specific part of the body. It is then named after that organ or type of cell in which it has started growing.
Cervix cancer is the cancer related to the entrance of the uterus (womb) in female. It occurs when abnormal cell growth occur in the cervix region. This is the most common cancer in women worldwide.
Overview of the female reproductive system
The female reproductive anatomy consist of parts both inside and outside the body. These parts are :
Ovary is female sex organ which occurs in pair. It produces female hormone Estrogen, Progesterone and female egg.
These are narrow tubes that are attached to the upper part of the uterus serving as tunnels for the ova to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. The fertilization of an egg with a sperm (conception) mostly occurs in the uterine tubes.
This is the area between the lower part of the womb (the cervix) and the outside of the body.
Cervix is the narrow opening to the uterus from the vagina
The uterus also known as the womb is a muscular pear shaped organ. It s major function is to support the developing fetus during pregnancy.
TYPES OF CERVICAL CANCER
There are two types of cervical cancers:
- Squamous cell cancer
CERVICAL CANCER SYMPTOMS
Most of the time cervix cancer goes unnoticed due to no early symptoms. Symptom mostly begins when a pre-cancer becomes a true invasive cancer and grows into nearby tissue. Therefore, it is advisable for females to regularly get a smear test done. The symptoms include :
Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods
Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual
Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination
Pain during sexual intercourse
Bleeding after menopause
Increased vaginal discharge
Any of these symptoms should be immediately reported to the doctor!
CERVICAL CANCER TREATMENT IN INDIA
India has some of the best oncology doctors and hospitals that specialise in cervical cancer. Carved in modern infrastructure the oncology hospitals in India give the best treatment and patient care at an affordable cost.
COST OF CERVICAL CANCER TREATMENT IN INDIA
The treatment of cervical cancer consists of biopsy or PET scan the cost of which starts from approximately USD 500, surgery costs around USD 5,000 and chemotherapy, the cost of which is about USD 1,500.
There are many different ways to diagnose cancer. Diagnosis is based on
Detailed patient history
This includes signs, symptoms and any associated risk factors
Pelvic examination- The doctor examines the women’s by feeling her uterus, cervix, vagina, ovary, fallopian tube, bladder and rectum.
Pap test-It is done by examining the cells which is gently scraped from the cervix and uterus.
HPV Typing- It is very similar to Pap test and is done by examining the cells taken from the cervix.
Colposcopy- This is the test done to check the abnormalities in the cervix.
Biopsy – Biopsy is removal of small part of the doubted area and examines it.
X-Ray- is done of the lower body (urography).
Computed Tomography scan
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Positron emission tomography
CERVICAL CANCER STAGES
Staging is the process of finding the location &extent of the cancer, such as how large it is, if or where it has spread & whether it is affecting the other parts of the body.Knowing the stage of the cancer is important as this will help the doctor by:
Understand the severity of the cancer and the survival chances.
Plan the best treatment option accordingly.
Identify clinical trials that may be treatment the options for the patients.
TNM (Tumor, Nodes, and Metastasized) staging system is the most preferred cancer staging system in use. Others systems are more specific to a particular type of cancer. Staging systems include information about:
Location of the tumor
Cell type (such as, adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma)
Spread to nearby lymph nodes
Spread to different parts of the body
Tumor grade, which refers as to how abnormal the cancer cells look and how likely the tumor is to grow and spread
In situ: Presence of abnormal cells, which have not spread.
Localized: Cancer is limited to its origin place.
Regional: Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, tissues, or organs.
Distant: Cancer has spread to distant parts of the body.
CERVICAL CANCER TREATMENT PROCEDURE
There are numerous cancer treatments that depends on the type of cancer, its stage, if the cancer has spread and the patient’s general health. The goal of the treatment is to kill as many cancerous cells and minimize the damage to normal cells nearby.
The treatment depends on the cause:-
Supplementation of vitamin B12 capsules
EARLY STAGE CANCER : When the cancer is confined to only cervix.Treatment plan for the early stage cancer are-
Cone biopsy (conization) - In this process the surgeon removes a cone shaped chunk of tissue from the affected area.
LASER SURGERY- A narrow beam of laser light is used to destroy cancerous and precancerous cell.
LEEP (Loop electrosurgical excision process) - A loop with current flowing is used to cut out the cancerous part of the cervix.
ADVANCE STAGE CANCER : When the cancer has spread beyond the cervix area. Treatment for advance stage cancer
Most of the patients have to go for a combination of the treatment, while some people can also have only one treatment plan.
COMPLICATIONS OF CERVICAL CANCER
Many women with cervical cancer can have complications ,which can arise as a direct result of the cancer or as the side effect of treatments . These are
Stress and relationship difficulties due to inability to have intercourse
Anger ,guilt, frustration, depression
CERVICAL CANCER RISK FACTORS
A risk factor is anything that alters the chance of getting a disease such as cancer , these include
PREVENTION OF CERVICAL CANCER
MYTHS & FACTS
MYTH :Only women who have sex with multiple partners will have Human Papilloma Virus infection.
FACT : Any women who has had intercourse can have Human Papilloma infection.
MYTH: If you have Human Papilloma virus you will have cervix cancer.
FACT-:Human Papilloma Virus is very common but cervical cancer is not that common.
MYTH : A lady will not be able to conceive a child at all after cervix cancer treatment.
FACT: In case of hysterectomy or radiation women may not conceive but in other treatment option the women can very well conceive.