Cervical cancer – causes, stages, symptoms and treatment
Often we hear that it is important to use regularly gynecological checkup and to do Pap test for early diagnosis of cervical cancer. Most people feel afraid and break down when hear the diagnosis cervical cancer. You need to be well informed. That is why we will introduce the specifics of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer causes
Cervical cancer is caused by human papilloma virus / HPV /. It is transmitted sexually, as the condom does not protect completely. Women get sick while men only carry it. The most common causes of infection are early sexual intercourse, frequent change of partners, the human papilloma virus, especially HPV type 6, 11, 16 and 18. Also known predisposition create and hormonal contraceptives that are taken orally. On the basis of the hormonal stimulation facilitates the action of oncogenic factors. Also, the use of contraceptives reduces the fear of pregnancy and encourage more frequent contacts. Other causes for the development of cervical cancer are also genital infections – chlamydia, genital herpes. Influenced by smoking, which weakens the anti-tumor immunity. Last but not least should be mentioned and bad intimate hygiene both in women and men.
In regular check-ups the virus is found and cervical cancer can be prevented. In the early stages it is curable. According to the World Health Organization cervical cancer is the third distribution oncologic disease among women after breast cancer and cancer of the uterine body. Unfortunately, most women do not visit a gynecologist regularly and on accidental visit the Pap test indicates that the cervical cancer is already at an advanced stage. Cervical cancer is detected except for women who are sexually active, but often in women in adulthood. After passing the menopause cancer develops very slowly but, unfortunately, the group of infected women is increasing. This is because most believe that after the completion of their sex lives, there is no risk of reproductive system diseases and do not attend regular gynecological check ups.
Cervical cancer stages
The cervical cancer develops in the cervix, which opens into the vagina. The initial period of development has no symptoms, this period is called Dysplasia or precancerous. The beginning is characterized with change of typical cells covering the cervix, which are converted to atypical – tumor cells with signs of uncontrolled (invasive) growth. The two stages of development according to the invasiveness are:
- Carcinoma in situ – This is a non-invasive cervical cancer, which cancer is histologically and biologically still precancer. The cells in carcinoma in situ have been modified but not yet reached the stage of cancer cells. Typical premalignant transformation and abnormal growth (dysplasia) of the cells on the surface of the cervix is referred to as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), also known as cervical dysplasia and cervical interstitial neoplasia. Cervical neoplasia is usually curable. In undiagnosed and untreated patients this neoplasia is becoming invasive cancer.
2. Invasive carcinoma – cancer cells with invasive growth and metastasis binge.
Since the beginning of the development of cervical cancer has no symptoms, the complaints are received only when it is already at an advanced stage. This is the main reason most women who do not regularly visit their gynecologist do not know about the existence of the cancer. With the advent of nonspecific complaints, then they attend occasional gynecological examination and detecting cancer already at an advanced stage. Therefore prophylactic examinations with Pap smear once a year are crucial for early diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Cervical Cancer Symptoms
The most common nonspecific complaints are:
- pain in the pelvis (lower abdomen);
- pain and / or bleeding during sexual intercourse;
- hearty and prolonged menstruation (which was previously normal);
- bleeding between menstrual cycles.
In the advanced stage already experienced general weakness, weight loss, complaints by other bodies, due to the presence of metastasis (metastasis).
Cervical cancer is diagnosed first by smear. If the result shows signs of precancerous cells do colposcopy and biopsy. Also makes abrasion of the cervical canal and histologically proven cervical cancer are carried out and so-called. imaging methods – ultrasound, computer tomography study with contrast, MRI and X-rays.
Treatment is surgery, as the volume of surgery is determined by the initial staging of the disease, i.e., the results of surveys. When data for carcinoma in situ cervical conization is performed. Cut tissue is sent for histological examination and in the absence of signs of invasive cancer manipulation is sufficient to cure.
In categorical data showing the invasive carcinoma is carried out in substantial surgical intervention. Depending on the age of the woman can be performed total hysterectomy with or without removal of the ovaries. Usually in this type of intervention is not performed postoperative radiotherapy in the absence of clear evidence of necessity.
In apparently highly advanced cervical cancer during surgery is taken material from lymph nodes, which is sent for histological examination quickly. The result of this study gives grounds for removal unless the uterus and the ovaries and fallopian tubes, parametrialnata connective tissue to the pelvic walls, the upper third of the vagina and pelvic lymph nodes. This operation is very traumatic to women and the recovery has been slow, especially if you have subsequent radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy.
To prevent the surgical treatment and cutting of organs, fear, anxiety and grief, it is recommended every woman to be reviewed annually with the Pap test by a gynecologist. Timely detection of early stages of development prevents surgery. Cervical cancer is curable! It is helpful also to be vaccinated against infection with human papilloma virus. After entering puberty till the rest of your life regular visits and preventive examination by a gynecologist is essential for all women!