Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women worldwide, and those affected often feel alone, overwhelmed and scared. As cervical cancer can have a devastating impact on the lives of those affected by it, it’s important for us to be aware of the condition and its symptoms, as well as how to detect and treat it. In this blog post, we’ll look at the different types of cervical cancer treatments available, the symptoms to look out for, and how it can be diagnosed. We’ll also discuss how early detection can help save lives. So let’s dive right in.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that affects the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It is usually a slow-growing cancer that can often be detected early and treated successfully.
There are two main types of cervical cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma starts in the thin, flat cells lining the cervix, while adenocarcinoma starts in the glandular cells that make up the mucus-producing tissue of the cervix.
Symptoms of cervical cancer may include bleeding from the vagina, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse. However, these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it is important to see a doctor if you experience any of them.
Cervical cancer is typically diagnosed with a Pap test, which checks for abnormal cells on the cervix. If abnormal cells are found, further testing will be done to determine if they are Cancerous. Treatment for cervical cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
Types of cervical cancer
There are two main types of cervical cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
- Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the squamous cells that line the outer part of the cervix. This type of cancer is also called “squamous cell cancer of the cervix” or “epithelial cancer of the cervix.”
- Adenocarcinoma begins in the glandular cells that line the inner part of the cervix. This type of cancer is also called “glandular cancer of the cervix.”
Cervical cancer can also be a mix of these two types, which is called “adenosquamous carcinoma.”
Treatment for cervical cancer
There are different types of cervical cancer treatment, depending on the stage and location of the cancer. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Surgery is the most common treatment for early-stage cervical cancer. The type of surgery depends on the stage of the cancer. For early-stage cancers, a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be all that is needed. For more advanced cancers, a radical hysterectomy (removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and surrounding tissue) may be necessary.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It can be used alone or in combination with surgery. Radiation therapy can be given externally (from a machine outside the body) or internally (from radioactive material placed directly into or near the tumor).
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It can be given intravenously (through a vein) or orally (in pill form). Chemotherapy is often used in combination with radiation therapy.
Targeted therapy is a newer type of treatment that targets specific molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Targeted therapies can be used alone or in combination with other treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
Symptoms of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer symptoms can include:
Abnormal bleeding: This can occur between periods, after sex, or after menopause.
Unusual discharge: This may be watery, bloody, or thicker than usual.
Pelvic pain: This can range from a dull ache to sharp pains.
Leg pain or swelling: Cancer in the cervix can block vessels and cause swelling in the legs.
Weight loss: Cancer can use up energy and cause weight loss.
Fatigue: Cancer cells can interfere with normal cell function and cause fatigue.
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms of cervical cancer, it’s important to see your doctor right away. They will likely perform a pelvic exam and order tests to check for cancer.
Diagnosing cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is most often diagnosed using a Pap test, in which cells are collected from the cervix and examined for abnormalities. If abnormal cells are found, the doctor may recommend a pelvic exam, during which a small camera is inserted into the vagina to get a closer look at the cervix. A biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the cervix and examined under a microscope, may also be performed.
Cervical cancer is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. It’s important for people to educate themselves on the types of treatment and diagnosis available, as well as the symptoms associated with this type of cancer. Early detection is key in treating cervical cancer, so it’s essential to keep an eye out for any potential warning signs and to speak with your doctor if you have any concerns. With proper care, early diagnosis and quick action, cervical cancer can be managed effectively.