Medicaoncology Cervical Cancer

What is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the cells of the cervix, which connects the uterus to the vaginal canal. Most cervical cancer is caused by different strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. When the body is exposed to HPV, the immune system usually stops the virus from causing harm. However, in a small number of people, the virus can live for years, contributing to the transformation of some cervical cells into cancer cells.

Cervical cancer can be prevented by having screening tests and getting a vaccine that protects against HPV infection.

Medica’s oncology department excels in providing world-class cancer treatment driven by their collective clinical excellence of over 30+ years. With a multidisciplinary approach to treating all types and forms of cancer, our oncologists and onco-surgeons are supported by the latest cancer treatment technologies along with a team of highly-skilled reconstructive surgeons who deliver extensive treatment to all of our patients, adults and children alike.

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    Types

    Squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma are the two most common kinds of cervical cancer. The look of cells under a microscope distinguishes each.

    Squamous Cell Carcinomas

    Squamous cell carcinomas develop from the thin, flat cells that border the cervix’s bottom. Approximately 90% of cervical cancers are of this kind.

    Adenocarcinoma

    Cervical adenocarcinomas form in the glandular cells that border the upper part of the cervix. Cervical adenocarcinomas account for the majority of the remaining instances of cervical cancer.

    Other Types:

    Glassy Cell Carcinoma

    Adenosquamous carcinomas include glassy cell carcinomas as a subtype.

    Adenosquamous Carcinomas

    When both types of cells are involved in cervical cancer, adenosquamous carcinomas develop. The forms of cancer that belong under this group have different definitions, making it difficult to determine their prevalence.

    Although squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas account for nearly all cervical malignancies, additional cancers can occur in the cervix. Melanoma, sarcoma, and lymphoma are among the other kinds of cancer.

    Symptoms

    Although some women do not show signs of cervical cancer until it has progressed, it is feasible to detect signals at an early stage. These are some of them:

    Vaginal Bleeding: Cervical cancer can cause vaginal blood that looks like menstrual bleeding. A longer or heavier menstrual cycle, as well as spotting or bleeding between periods, may be noticed by the patient. Any bleeding that appears to be unusual should be reported to a doctor. This includes any bleeding after menopause, especially if the patient hasn’t had a period in months or years.

    Pelvic Pain: Women might suffer pain in their pelvic region for a variety of reasons. Some people experience back pain, particularly in the lower back. This could be a sharp pain or pressure in the lower abdomen, below the belly button, and it could be anywhere.

    Vaginal Discharge: Vaginal discharge that is clear, milky, or slightly yellowish in color is typical and healthy. Color, consistency, and/or odor changes, on the other hand, should be explored. Small amounts of blood in a discharge that could be related to cervical cancer may give it a reddish tint. Women should be on the lookout for a red-tinged discharge and/or an increase in the amount of discharge before or after their menstrual cycle.

    Experiencing Pain During Intercourse: Some people suffer discomfort or bleeding during or after intercourse.

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    Causes

    Cervical cancer is caused by changes (mutations) in the DNA of healthy cells in the cervix. The DNA of a cell includes the instructions that tell it what to do.

    Healthy cells develop and replicate at a predetermined rate before dying at a predetermined period. The mutations cause the cells to proliferate and replicate uncontrollably, and they do not perish as a result. The aberrant cells that are accumulating form a bulk (tumor). Cancer cells can infiltrate adjacent tissues and break out from a tumor to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

    Other Risk Factors

    • Human Papillomavirus: The most major risk factor for cervical cancer is infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a virus family that includes over 150 different viruses. Some of them create papillomas, more popularly known as warts, which are a form of growth.
    • Smoking: Cervical cancer is twice as common in women who smoke as in women who do not smoke. Women who smoke have been found to have tobacco by-products in their cervical mucus.
    • Weak Immunity: The immune system aids in the destruction of cancer cells as well as the halting of their growth and spread. In HIV-positive women, a cervical pre-cancer may progress to invasive carcinoma more quickly than it would otherwise.
    • Multiple Pregnancies: Cervical cancer is more likely in women who have had three or more full-term babies. This is assumed to be owing to the higher risk of HPV infection associated with sexual activity.
    • Malnourishment: Cervical cancer may be more common in women whose diets are deficient in fruits and vegetables.
    • Sexual History: Cervical cancer risk might be increased by a number of factors related to your sexual history. Increased odds of HPV exposure are most likely affecting the risk.
    • Chlamydia Infection: According to several research, women who had signs of chlamydia infection in their blood or cervical mucus had a greater risk of cervical cancer. The Chlamydia bacteria may aid HPV growth and survival in the cervix, thus increasing the risk of cervical cancer.
    Stages

    The most significant element in determining your treatment approach is the stage of your cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is classified into stages based on the size and extent of cancer spread beyond the cervix to other parts of the body (metastasis), such as lymph nodes or other organs. Cervical cancer has four stages:

    Stage 0: This stage means abnormal cells have been discovered in the cervix’s innermost lining but are not invasive (have not spread to nearby tissue). These cells are not cancerous, but they are precancerous, which means they could go away on their own or turn cancerous and spread to normal tissue nearby. Precancerous cells can be treated to prevent them from spreading and developing into cancer.

    Stage I: There are two substages, stages IA and IB. In these stages the cancer is only in the cervix.

    Stage II: This stage suggests that the cancer has migrated from the cervix to the tissue surrounding the uterus or to parts of the vaginal canal. The malignancy has not spread to the pelvic wall at this time (the tissues that line the part of the body between the hips).

    Stage III: The cancer has spread throughout the majority of the vaginal wall and potentially the tissues between the hips at this stage (pelvic wall). Stage III could also mean that the malignancy is interfering with renal function.

    Stage IV: Cancer that has gone from the cervix to the vulva or urethra, bladder, and rectum, as well as to other regions of the body such the kidneys, lungs, liver, belly, or digestive system, is classified as Stage VI.

    Diagnosis

    The first stage in designing a cervical cancer treatment strategy is to have a comprehensive and precise cancer diagnosis. For detecting cervical cancer, evaluating the condition, and devising your specific treatment plan, our integrated team of cervical cancer experts will employ a variety of innovative tests and techniques.

    • Pap Smear: Cervical cancer, unlike other gynecologic cancers, can be diagnosed by a variety of screening procedures. The Pap test is the most popular screening test for cervical cancer and precancerous cells (dysplasia).
    • Pelvic Examination: A doctor examines the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and rectum physically for nodules or bumps that can be investigated further with imaging equipment.
    • Biopsy: Cone biopsy/LEEP and sentinel lymph node biopsy are two types of biopsies used to diagnose cervical cancer.
    • Colonoscopy: A doctor examines the cervix with a special microscope called a colposcope. The colposcope is designed to provide your doctor a better view of the areas, allowing them to spot any abnormal tissue. The tissue is biopsied if aberrant tissue is found.
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    Treatment

    Nurses, social workers, counselors, pharmacists, and nutritionists are among the medical professionals who may be involved in treatment and care. Based on all of the information obtained about the patient’s cancer via any tests, scans, or other procedures, the cancer care team prepares a recommended tailored treatment plan.

    Surgery: Surgery is utilized to treat the majority of cervical cancer patients, and there are a few different forms of surgery that can be employed.

    Radiation Therapy: Our radiation oncologists employ cutting-edge equipment to administer high doses of radiation to malignant cells in the cervix while avoiding healthy tissue. These therapies are meant to lessen the likelihood of typical gastrointestinal and sexual function side effects associated with radiation therapy for cervical cancer by focusing the radiation directly on the tumour.

    Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses medications to kill or prevent malignant cells from spreading. A large percentage of cervical cancer patients are advised to take it. Chemotherapy may be added to the treatment schedule for women who are primarily treated with radiation therapy to aid improved responses.

    Targeted Therapy: Targeted therapy aims to identify and combat the characteristics that distinguish individual cancer cells. Targeted therapy medications connect to proteins or receptors on cancer cells, either killing the cells or assisting other therapies, such as chemotherapy, in working more effectively. Angiogenesis inhibitors, which block cancer cells from forming blood vessels that feed tumors, are among the medications used in targeted therapy.

    Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses compounds found in the body or generated in a lab to enhance the immune system or assist it in detecting and attacking cancer cells.

    Other treatment procedures such as pelvic exenteration, radical trachelectomy, hysterectomy etc., can also be suggested by your oncologist as per your cancer’s stage of progression.

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