Cervical Cancer – Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis
Cervical cancer is the cancer of cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus and connects it to the vagina. It tends to occur during the early thirties to late 50s and it is essential to screen for cervical cancer on a routine basis. In India, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women after breast cancer. The good part is it is treatable, but the sad part is most of the patients remain unaware of it until it has reached other parts of body and difficult to control. It’s time we pay heed to the initial symptoms, go for proper medical diagnosis and start an early treatment. Read about when is the right time to go for Cervical Cancer Screening.
Causes of Cervical Cancer
A virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV causes cervical cancer. It is usually passed on during intercourse. There are many strains of HPV and all don’t cause cervical cancer. Few infections might not show any symptoms and the infection may gradually go away on its own. The ones that cause genital warts, are the ones that should worry you.
According to an experienced oncologist, precancerous and the initial phase of cervical cancer might not show any symptoms. Th is the main reason why it goes unnoticed.
However, advanced stages of cervical cancer show following symptoms:
- Irregular vaginal bleeding.
- Excessive vaginal discharge.
- Pain during urination or sex.
- Bleeding that happens between the menstrual cycle, post menopause, and pelvic examination.
- Unexplained pain in the pelvis.
- Heavy unusual watery discharge, which might be foul smelling.
Chances of cancer in the cervix are higher in women who smoke, have been on birth-control pills for long and are HIV positive or have a compromised immune system.
Get detail information on Cervical Cancer Risk Factors.
For all women aged above thirty, or encountering any of the symptoms mentioned above, a regular pelvic examination is a must. Pap smear test checks formation of any abnormal cells. An unusual finding during Pap smear test (doctor would scrape few cells from the cervix to study them) would lead to other confirmatory tests to confirm or rule out cervical cancer. Tests like cervical biopsy, CT scans and PET scans understand the spread of the cancer.
This write-up was contributed by Credihealth content team:
Credihealth is India’s No.1 Medical Assistance company. It gives guidance to a patient from the first consultation through the entire hospitalization process. A team of in-house Credihealth doctors helps the patient find the right doctor, book appointment, request cost estimate for procedures and manage admission & discharge processes.
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