Cervix is a part of uterus at its lower end. It is conical in shape and some of its part protrudes in the vagina. There can be a malignant condition i.e abnormal growth of cells mostly in the epithelium of cervix that can be disseminating to other parts. That's why it is called cervical cancer. A pre cancerous condition called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia occurs first in the cervix, but if this condition left untreated then, it gets converted into more dangerous condition i.e cervical cancer. Symptoms and signs remain undiagnosed during the early cases. In most advanced cases, vaginal bleeding occurs. Most common cause for this type of cancer is HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV). The most recent classification for the cervical cancer is bethseda system in which all cervical epithelial precursors are divided into two types: High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion and low-grade squamous intraepithelial tumours. Usually this cancer may metastasize to abdomen and lungs.
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The first and the major cause of the cervical cancer is the HPV. This virus has two strains: HPV16 andHPV18. These two strains of virus cause the cervical cancer in 70% of the cases. The virus causes change in the cells of cervix and causes cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, which can lead to cancer. This virus resides at the glans penis part of penis. During coitus, virus may get enter into the vagina and can cause disease. That's why circumcision can prevent this.
Hormonal contraception, DES (diethylstilbestrol), family factors, multiple pregnancies, HIV infection (due to lack of immune response) and Chlamydia infection (a bacteria) are other causes of this condition.
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This is major problem in most of the cancers that they are initially undetectable as mass of the tumour cells must grow to a detectable amount and to produce symptoms but the cancerous cell grow slowly. So, they are not detectable in early stages. Here is also the same problem but in later stages it can be predictable. Following are the symptoms:
Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
Pain in pelvic area, back pain
Leaking of urine form vagina
Vaginal mass on examination
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Advanced stage tumors are treated with radiation therapy and cisplatin-based chemotherapy as cancer has spread to distant places, which cannot be treated by removing that part of surgery. So, they are treated with radiation or chemotherapy.
|Radiation Therapy||Modern Medicine|
Radical trachelectomy can also occur through abdomen or by vagina. Women who conceive after surgery tends to have pre term labour. Radiation therapy is given as external beam radiotherapy to the pelvis. Patients who have surgery are given with the radiation therapy to prevent the relapse.
Early stages which are micro invasive or invade very little in the surrounding tissues, they can be treated with the help of surgery. Hysterectomy, removal of uterus or a part of vagina, is a procedure we adopt in very stages of cancer along with the uterus and vagina, lymph nodes are also removed if cancer cells also spreads to the lymph nodes
For a patient who wants to be fertile, another procedure is used namely Trachelectomy. This attempts to surgically remove the cancer while preserving the ovaries and uterus, providing for a more conservative operation than a hysterectomy.
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