Cervical Cancer

The minimum cost of treating cervical cancer in India starts from USD 1932 and can reach a maximum value of USD 4,800 or (INR 1,49,955 to 3,72,559). But the prices may vary based on the severity of the disease, the specialist, cities, and many others.

Cervical Cancer Treatment

What Is All About Cervical Cancer?

Just like any other kind of cancer, cervical cancer is even a deadly form of cancer that develops in the cervical region of the female body that attaches to the vagina with the lower end of the uterus. It is said by many oncologists and health care experts, that apart from all other forms of cancer in women, such as breast cancer or ovarian cancer, cervical cancer is the most commonly occurring type.

If detected in the early stages, cervical cancer is almost treatable, but if the disease lingers for a long time, cancer might become fatal and then will lead to deadly health conditions, ultimately leading to death

Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer

The most crucial problem with the disease is that the early symptoms of cervical cancer are not visible to the woman and many women mistake the early signs of cervical cancer as signs of urine infection or any kind of vaginal disorder, but they have already started developing the disease within their body related to menstruation or alike diseases, and as a result of neglecting it and keeping the disease untreated for long cancer gradually starts spreading almost all over the body and at the end there remains a little chance of survival. But still, some common symptoms are usually visible in the early stages of cervical cancer. Some of the symptoms that begin to appear in the early stages of cervical cancer are as follows:

Cervical Cancer Symptoms
  • Mild to severe vaginal bleeding, that might seem like menstrual bleeding amidst your period dates or after sexual intercourse, or after menopause.
  • Mild to severe pain in the pelvic and cervical area.
  • Pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • A different kind of vaginal discharge that is not usually like the normal discharge.
  • The frequent urge for urination.
  • Feeling of pain in the vagina during urination.
  • The feeling of pain in the lower back portion.

Causes Of Cervical Cancer

There is no particular reason behind the occurrence of cervical cancer, but some oncologists and health care experts opine that there are certain common causes that are responsible for the occurrence of cervical cancer in a woman’s body. Some of the causes are as follows:

  1. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV): In some cases, women’s vaginas are exposed to viruses that spread through sexual contact such as HPV during the time of intercourse and are highly infectious and can cause cervical cancer in women.
  2. Precancerous Cervical Abnormalities: Sometimes development of pre-cancerous abnormalities such as a sudden change in the cells or tissues in the cervical region might lead to the occurrence of cervical cancer in the female body.
  3. Other Risk Factors: Apart from the above two main reasons, some other factors are considered responsible for causing cervical cancer. Some of them are listed here as follows:-
    • Multiple sexual partners: If a woman has multiple sexual partners and they have quite regular intercourses, then there are high chances of developing cervical cancer due to getting infected with HPV or any other virus that spreads through genital contacts.
    • Early sexual intercourse: If the sexual intercourse or any other sexual activity begins at a very young age in women, then there are possibilities of getting cervical cancer.
    • Other sexually transmitted diseases (STIs): The chances of getting cervical cancer in women increase if they have any sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV/AIDS, or HPV.
    • Lack of a proper immune system: If a woman has a weak immune system and has zero power to resist the occurrence of any chronic disease then there are high chances of getting affected by cervical cancer.
    • Smoking: Excessive smoking, drinking of alcohol, and consumption of any kind of drugs increase the chance of cervical cancer in women.

Types Of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer can be broadly divided into two types: Squamous cell carcinoma and Adenocarcinoma.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: As the name suggests, cancer begins in the squamous cells of the cervix that remain in the outer lining of the cervical region and gradually spreads into the other parts of the body.

Adenocarcinoma: This type of cancer occurs within the cervical canal in the glandular cells.

Diagnosis of Cervical Cancer

For diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer disease in the body, oncologists and health care experts suggest performing some tests related to the cancer disease. Some such tests and diagnostic procedures are as follows:

  1. Necessary blood tests and biopsies such as Punch biopsy or Cone biopsy to study the spreading of cancer.
  2. Imaging of the cervical region to see the condition of cancer in that particular region.
  3. X- rays, MRIs, PET, and CT scans.
  4. PAP test or HPV DNA test.
  5. Colposcopic evaluation and Endocervical curettage.

Stages Of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer has been divided into 4 stages based on several factors such as its development, severity of the patient’s condition, treatability of the disease, and so on. The stages of cervical cancer can be described in detail as follows:

Stages of Cervical Cancer
  • Stage 1: This is the initial stage of cancer when it has just started developing within the body and, it is nascent in size. This is the stage when the cancer is easily treatable and has not yet spread to any other parts of the body.
  • Stage 2: This is the stage when cancer has just grown a bit larger and has increased in size. In this stage, cancer has just started spreading into the other parts of the body such as the lymph nodes and goes outside the cervical region.
  • Stage 3: In this stage, cancer has already spread into different parts of the body and damaged the surrounding areas, including the uterus, ovaries, and the vagina.
  • Stage 4: This is the deadliest stage of cancer where the cancer is barely treatable, and it has already affected the major organs of the body including the lungs, bones, and liver.

Treatment of Cervical Cancer

Several kinds of processes and methods are used by oncologists and health care experts to treat cervical cancer. Some of the methods are as follows:

Surgery: This is the most recommended method of treating cervical cancer, through which the cancer-affected portions of the cervix are eliminated. There are several methods of surgery for treating cervical cancer.

  • Cryosurgery: In this surgery, the undesirable cells are eliminated, and the void cells are filled by the physician with gas that resumes the shape of ice balls.
  • Laser operation: It is a form of radiation therapy where a high- an intense beam of light rays through the vagina is inserted into the cervical region to destroy the cells damaged by cancer.
  • Hysterectomy: The cervix and uterus are removed through surgical methods so that the ovaries and fallopian tubes are not damaged.

Chemotherapy: The most common way of treating cancer is the use of chemotherapy- a method where physicians use chemicals, drugs, and medications to destroy those cells that are affected by cancer.

Targeted Therapy: Targeted therapy is another method that is used to treat cervical cancer, where the cells damaged by cancer are targeted by the oncologists or the surgeon and then with the use of clinical tools and medications, those target cells are destroyed to check the further growth of cancer.

Cervical Cancer Tests: The oncologist and health care expert might suggest some tests that are to be performed to detect the growth, nature, and development of cervical cancer. Some of those tests are as follows:

  1. Pap smear tests for those women who are in the age group of 21 to 29 at least once in 3 years.
  2. A High-risk HPV test along with a Pap- smear test every 5 years for those who are in the age group of 30 to 65.
  3. Pelvic tests to check whether there is any damage in the pelvic areas such as the uterus, cervix, or vagina.

Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer

Certain risk factors are related to cervical cancer and the presence of these risk factors might increase the severity of the disease rapidly. The risk factors are listed below:

  • Presence of any kind of sexually- a transmitted disease in the body, such as HIV, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and so on.
  • Excessive smoking, drinking alcohol, or consumption of any kind of drugs that are harmful to the body.
  • Overweight the body or obesity.
  • Presence of a gene related to any type of cancer, especially cervical cancer in the family history.
  • Overuse of birth control pills or contraception.
  • Lack of proper nutrients in the diet, such as fruits and green, leafy vegetables, and overconsumption of junk foods.
  • Pregnancy and sexual intercourse at a very early age.

Cervical Cancer and Pregnancy

Though it is quite a rare occurrence to become pregnant with cervical cancer, such a condition might occur sometimes that is mostly detected in the very early stages. But the process is quite complicated and risky too. The complication increases as your pregnancy mature gradually. In most cases, the oncologists and health care experts recommend delivering first and then starting the treatment of cancer if the cancer is detected in the early stages. But complications increase when the treatment of cancer gets delayed and the pregnancy advances, which can potentially affect the child, and the physician might ask the mother if she would like to keep the child if the delivery before surgery is not possible.

Some questions that are frequently asked

Q1. Can I have a child after having cervical cancer?

Ans. It is quite difficult to keep a child if you have cervical cancer and will be far more complicating if both the cancer and the pregnancy are in the advanced stages.

Q2. Will I be cured from cervical cancer?

Ans. If the cancer is detected in the early stages, there are high chances of getting cured, but if the diagnosis is delayed there is little chance of survival.

Q3. Will I have menstrual issues after having cervical cancer?

Ans. It is common to have menstrual issues and vaginal pain in cervical cancer, but your physician will be the best person to advise.

Q4. Will my periods stop after having cervical cancer?

Ans. If in the cervical surgery, your cervix is removed there might be several issues regarding menstruation.

Q5. How to prevent cervical cancer?

Ans. It is safe to follow a healthy and proper lifestyle and a proper diet full of nutrients and low amount of junk foods.

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