Cervical cancer is a type of cancer which begins in the cells of the uterine cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina). The cervix which is the entrance of the uterus is referred as the neck of the womb. It is the second most common type of cancer found in women worldwide.
Most of the cervical cancers begin in the transformation zone (the place where the endocervix and exocervix meet). Initially the cells of cervix will be normal, gradually it becomes pre-cancerous and later turns into abnormal and cancerous.
Most of the cervical cancers are caused by persistent infection of HPVs. Certain type of virus are also capable of transforming normal cells in the cervix to abnormal cells and some of these abnormal cells may then develop into cervical cancer.
The other risk factors that increase the chance of developing cervical cancer include:
In the early stages of cervical cancer, there will be no signs and symptoms. So, women should have regular screening through HPV or Pap tests. This helps to find out the precancerous cell changes early and prevent the development of cancer.
The most common symptoms of cervical cancer include:
During the diagnosis of cervical cancer, the first step is Pap test, if any abnormality is found further test will be done.
The following are the other common tests which can diagnose cervical cancer:
For the treatment of cervical cancer which is diagnosed at an early stage, hysterectomy is done and sometimes it is possible to leave the womb in place.
The other most common treatment options for cervical cancer include:
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