Also known as uterine cervical cancer for many years of cervical cancer, it is the leading cause of cancer death among women. However, in the last 40 years the incidence of cervical cancer and the resulting deaths have decreased.
The decrease is directly attributable to women who receive the regular Pap smear, which can detect dysplasia (abnormal cells) before the condition develops in cancer. According to published statistics, more than 42,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 5,000 women will die of the disease annually.
What is the cervix?
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, more often it is called the cervix. The cervix is responsible for connecting the body of the uterus to the vaginal cavity. During menstruation, the cervix opens and allows removal of the endometrial tissue.
The main function of the cervix for reproduction during delivery, the cervix will dilate to a size of 10 inches and allow the baby to pass through the birth and delivery canal.
What is cancer of the cervix?
Cervical cancer is a malignant growth of cells in the uterine or cervical neck. In a stage of pre-cancers the disease is known as “cervical dysplasia.” The condition is classified as mild, moderate or severe. While dysplasia alone does not give rise to health problems, it is considered as a precancerous condition that can change rapidly with cervical cancer in situ or invasive (growing beyond the layer of cells that has started) cancer of the uterus. cervix.
What causes cancer of the cervix?
Cancers of the cervix begin with an abnormal change in the tissues of the cervix. The development of abnormal cervical abnormalities has been associated with some risk factors, including human papillomavirus (HPV), involvement in early sexual activity, multiple sexual partners, a compromised immune system, oral contraceptives, and smoking cigarettes .
HPV is a group of more than 100 different viruses, This type of virus are not really cancer, but they cause tumors called papillomas. The virus is transmitted from person to person during intercourse including; vaginal, anal and oral sex.
Certain strains of the human papilloma virus, in particular strains that cause genital warts, skin and other abnormal skin conditions, have been linked directly to changes in the cervix that could lead to the development of cervical cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
Initial forms of cervical cancer usually do not produce symptoms or warning signs. However, during the course of cancer, the following may happen:
- Vaginal bleeding, especially after intercourse, between menstrual cycles, or after menopause.
- Water, bloody spotting vaginal discharge that can be heavy and have an unpleasant smell.
- Pain in the pelvic region or pain during intercourse.
Diagnosed as is the cancer of the cervix?
Medical examinations and Pap smears are part of the routine medical care a woman undergoes in an annual gynecological examination, if early cervical cancer caught has a better chance of being treated successfully. During a Pap smear, the doctor will carry the cells and swung the cervix and send the sample to a laboratory for analysis. A Pap smear can detect abnormal cells in the cervix easily, If abnormal cells are found and left untreated, you may develop cervical cancer.
Your doctor may also use an HPV DNA test to determine whether or not a woman is infected with any of the 13 types of HPV that are associated with cervical cancer. The test is performed in the same way as PAP, the cells are collected from the cervix and sent to be evaluated in a laboratory. The test differs from the PAP, since it can detect the high-risk HPV strains in the cellular DNA, changes the cervix before they are watching ..
If a woman has experienced any of the signs and symptoms associated with cervical cancer, her doctor may want to perform further tests to make such a diagnosis. These tests include:
- Cervical examination: An examination called colposcopy is performed using a special microscope called a colposcope. It is used to examine the cervix. If your doctor finds an unusual area, a small sample of cells and tissues may be taken from a biopsy.
- The cervical cell sample: During a biopsy, a doctor can extract a sample of the abnormal cells with special tools. A type of biopsy is called a punch biopsy, the doctor will use a sharp, circular instrument to remove a small portion in the circle of the cervix. Other biopsies may be done, depending on the location and size of the suspected area.
- The elimination of a part of the cervix in the form of a cone: a cone (conization) biopsy involves taking a cone of sample from the cervix, which allows a doctor to obtain deeper levels of cells from the cervix for testing in the laboratory. A scalpel, laser or electric wire loop can be used to cut the tissue for sampling.
If samples determine that a woman has cervical cancer, you will need more tests performed to determine if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, the process is called staging. The stage of cervical cancer will be the key factor in the way the disease is treated and what the possible outcome will be.