CERVICAL CANCER CORRECTION
In developed countries, the incidence of cervical cancer has significantly reduced throughout the years. However, cervical cancer remains a significant concern in developing countries. Studies have shown that in India, 1.2 lakh new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed every year. 68,000 women die of this cancer, and it is the most common cancer among Indian Rural females. With such daunting facts and figures, it becomes crucial to become aware of the causation of cervical cancer, and the measurements should be taken to prevent it.
Cervical cancer is cancer that happens in the cells of the cervix – the lowest part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina. Numerous strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a crucial role in causing cervical cancer. When the body’s immunity system is exposed to the HPV cells, it stops the virus from doing more harm. In some cases, the virus survives for years, causing cervical cells to become cancer cells. Nevertheless, you can reduce your chances of developing cervical cancer by having screening tests (LBC, PAP and HPV) and getting a vaccine that guards you against HPV infection.
In the early stages of cervical cancer, it generally exhibits no signs and symptoms. But as cancer progresses, it displays the most common signs and symptoms of cervical cancer, which includes: –
● Heavy vaginal bleeding after coitus, between periods, or after menopause.
● Acute pelvic pain or pain during intercourse.
● Watery, bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy and have a foul odour.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, then we advise you to see a doctor immediately. Make an appointment and briefly discuss symptoms and any prior medical history.
Many risk factors contribute to the cause of Cervical cancer. First and foremost, the most evident risk factor is – Multiple sexual partners. Early age at first intercourse and first childbirth—greater your risk of having HPV. Moreover, having STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS also increases your risk. If you are already infected with HPV and have a weak immunity system, you will be more likely to develop cancer cells.
Screening and Prevention
“Prevention is Better Than Cure.” Hence, you should be more vigilant and make yourself more aware of cervical cancer. Fortunately, Cervical cancer has a long precancer stage before the development of cancer. We can stop the progression of the precancer stage into the cancer cervix by simple treatment. Screening once in 5years with LBC and HPV testing can detect the precancer changes in the cervix which is curable with simple treatment. Without removing the uterus, like Cryotherapy, LEEP, Cold knife conization.
Once cancer developed, Surgery (Radical hysterectomy bilateral pelvic nodes dissection) is the treatment of choice for an early stage of cancer cervix. In the advanced stage, radiotherapy along with chemotherapy is given to treat the patient.
This is the only genital cancer that simple measures can prevent, and for which vaccine is available, little awareness is needed.
– Dr. Renuka Gupta
Consultant – Gynae Oncology