Cervical Cancer

By Gisela Alamo

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the tissues of the cervix. This form of cancer is prevalent in women, as males do not have a cervix. The cervix is the organ that connects the uterus to the vagina.

What causes cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is almost always caused by infections with the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV.


Cervical cancer is also more likely to onset in women who are frequent smokers.

Prevention

Women can prevent the onset of cervical cancer by:


  • Receiving regular cervical cancer screening
  • Getting the HPV vaccine before becoming sexually active

Diagnosis

Cervical cancer may be diagnosed in several ways:


  1. Lab Tests

A doctor or nurse will scrape cell samples from the cervix and then take to a lab to test for results.

2. Cervical Cancer Exam

A doctor will use a colposcope, which is a thing that combines bright light with a magnifying glass to perform an exam.


3. Tissue Sample

A biopsy can be performed, which would involve removal of tissue to look for cancer. This would require simply local anesthesia.

Treatments

Common treatments of cervical cancer are:


  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Or combination of the above

Treatment depends on the size of tumor, and if the women plans on becoming pregnant.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Cervical cancer include:


  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis
  • Problems with urination
  • Problems with defecation
  • Bad odor with discharge
  • Pain during intercourse

These are just few of the symptoms, as they can vary from person to person.

Frequency in Population

Cervical cancer is common among women over the age of 30. It is the 12th most common cancer for women and the 3rd most common of gynecological cancers in women of the UK, after uterine and ovarian cancers.


The amount of estimated cases of cervical cancer in the United States alone is about 12,360 in 2014. Estimated deaths in 2014 are 4,020.

You Can Prevent Cervical Cancer