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All about Cervical Cancer

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All about Cervical Cancer

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Cervical cancer is one of the most common illnesses in women these days. Read below to know in detail.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Anuthanyaa. R

Published At October 10, 2014
Reviewed AtMarch 7, 2024

Introduction:

Every year, many women above the age of 40 are being diagnosed and treated for cervical cancer. If detected early, this disease can be treated. Every woman needs to be consciously aware of this condition, and timely screening helps identify this illness earlier. Thus, the doctor will be able to give the right treatment and halt the progress of the disease to other parts of the body.

Who Is at Risk of Cervical Cancer?

It is important to know that this disease is quite widespread today, and every woman can get it.

  • Women above the age of 40, who have a positive family history of cancer.

  • A prolonged period of intake of oral contraceptive pills.

  • Women who are addicted to drugs or other abuse like smoking, alcohol, etc.

  • Women who have multiple sexual partners and those who have frequent sexual intercourse are at higher risk of cancer of the cervix due to irritation of the cervical mucosa.

  • Women who have been exposed to early sexual intercourse are at the highest risk.

  • Women who have received sexually transmitted infections like HPV (human papillomavirus) infection from their partner are prone to cervical malignancies. Even the regular use of condoms does not make a woman safe from receiving this infection from her partner. Because when a condom is worn, only the penis is covered, and the other parts of the genitalia are open, and thus infection can spread from skin-to-skin contact.

  • Women who have given multiple births are also seen to suffer from cervical cancers.

  • Prolonged grief - although this sounds weird, it is seen that a long duration of sadness, tension, or any mental stress raises the level of certain chemicals in our body, which are seen to weaken our immune system and trigger the onset of cancer.

What Causes Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer starts when normal cells in the cervix change their DNA, which tells them to grow too quickly and live longer than they should. This can lead to too many cells, which may form a tumor and invade nearby tissues. Over time, these cells can spread to other parts of the body.

Most cervical cancers are caused by a virus called HPV (human papillomavirus), which is often transmitted through sexual contact. While HPV usually does not cause any issues and goes away on its own for most people, it can lead to cell changes that might eventually develop into cancer for some.

What Are the Early Cervical Cancer Signs That Need to Be Vigilant About?

  • Untimely or abnormal bleeding from the pelvis.

  • Unusual pain or bleeding while having sexual contact.

  • Abnormal pelvic pain.

  • Gradual or rapid loss of health.

  • Unusual weight loss.

  • Non-healing wounds around the cervix.

In the beginning, cervical cancer might not show any signs. But as it progresses, one might notice unusual bleeding or discharge from the vagina, such as bleeding after sex. If someone experiences any of these cervical cancer signs, it is important to see a doctor. While they could be caused by something other than cancer, only a doctor can confirm.

What Are the Types of Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is categorized into types depending on where it starts growing. The main types are:

  1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This starts in flat, thin cells called squamous cells that line the surface of the cervix. It is the most common type.

  2. Adenocarcinoma: This begins in gland cells that form a column and line the cervical canal.

Sometimes, both types of cells are involved in cervical cancer. In rare cases, cancer can develop in other cells in the cervix.

How to Diagnose and Manage Cervical Cancer?

It is very important for women who are above the age of 40 to do a regular health check-up once every six months.

  • One of the regular tests that should be done is the Pap Test (a smear test used for screening the precancerous and cancerous cells in the cervix).

  • In the case of non-healing wounds, firstly, the patient would be advised to undergo a biopsy to confirm if there is a malignancy.

  • Cervical conization is a technique or a procedure wherein a cone-shaped piece of the cervical mass is excised to diagnose and study the transition of the malignant cells. It is not an invasive technique and is absolutely safe.

  • Cauterization (the technique of burning a part of the body to remove an undesired growth) and cryosurgery (the technique of application of extreme cold to remove an undesired growth) are used to remove the part of the cervix that is diseased.

  • Removal of the cervix completely is the option in critical stages. However, this does not alter the sex life of a female.

Cervical Cancer Management -

There are different ways to treat cervical cancer, depending on the type and how much it has spread. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

  1. Surgery: Doctors remove the cancer during an operation.

  2. Chemotherapy: Special medications are used to shrink or eliminate the cancer cells. These drugs can be taken as pills or given through veins.

  3. Radiation Therapy: High-energy rays, like X-rays, are used to destroy the cancer cells.

What Are the Home Remedies That Can Help Prevent and Fight Cancer?

  • Figs are one of the best fruits which have powerful anticancer compounds.

  • Garlic is an agent that is proven to fight cancer by breaking down cancer-causing substances.

  • Mushrooms have been known to fight cancer and develop immunity against it.

  • Raw carrots, broccoli, cabbage, green asparagus, turmeric, and fruits such as pineapple, black grapes, apricots, strawberries, and raspberries, as well as pepper and jalapeno, are considered to contain certain substances that tend to dissolve cancer-causing substances.

  • A low-fiber diet is helpful in reducing gastric irritation in conditions of diarrhea and indigestion due to side effects of chemotherapy.

  • Apart from diet, it is essential for every female to do regular exercises and keep herself physically fit to improve body immunity.

  • A positive attitude and the will to live is what helps us fight cancer.

Conclusion:

Women need to keep in mind that not only those who have a history of cancer in their families are prone to this disease, but every woman who is sexually active should remain alert and keep herself checked for possibilities of this condition. Also, women need not be afraid of this condition, as it is preventable and treatable when diagnosed in time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is the Major Cause of Cervical Cancer?

The primary cause of cervical cancer is the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that passes from one person to the other, usually during sexual intercourse. Different types of human papillomavirus can cause changes in the woman's cervix and lead to cervical cancer over time.

2.

Who Are Prone to Develop Cervical Cancer?

People between their late teens and mid-30s are more prone to developing cervical cancer. People who are younger than 20 rarely develop cervical cancer. It is frequently diagnosed in women between 35 and 44 years old.

3.

What Are Early Signs Associated With Cervical Cancer?

The most common early sign seen during cervical cancer is abnormal bleeding after vaginal sex, bleeding between periods, or bleeding after menopause. The other early sign involves itching or burning sensations in the vagina, unexplained fatigue, low back or abdominal pain, or abdominal bloating. If the symptoms are noticed early, the diagnosis will become easy, and cervical cancer can be cured too.

4.

Can a Person Feel Cervical Cancer?

The pain due to cervical cancer may not be felt much early. This is because cervical cancer tends to spreads at a slower rate. However, as cancer progresses, it spreads to nearby organs and tissues, which may lead to pain in the pelvis region and cause issues related to urination.

5.

How to Detect Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer can be detected by abnormal cells in the cervix through a pap test. The human papillomavirus (HPV) test can be done by testing the collected sample from the cervix to detect the presence of any infection associated with HPV, which is the leading cause of cervical cancer.

6.

Does Cervical Cancer Lead To Weight Gain?

No, cervical cancer is usually not associated with weight gain. However, unexplained weight loss is the most common finding that leads to loss of appetite. This problem occurs regardless of the amount of food consumed by a person.

7.

At What Age Cervical Cancer Likely to Occur?

Cervical cancer is usually diagnosed in women between ages 35 and 44, with the average age diagnosed at 50. It is rarely seen in women who are younger than 20 years. As a result, many older women do not recognize or realize the risk of cervical cancer development.

8.

Can Cervical Cancer Detect Through Blood Test?

Diagnosis of cervical cancer cannot be made through a blood test. However, it is an important test to detect the levels of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood. A Pap test is usually done to diagnose cervical cancer.

9.

How Does the Cervical Cancer Spread Quickly?

Cervical cancer tends to develop at a languid pace. The development of cancer cells may take years for the abnormal changes to transform into cancerous cells and severe conditions. In addition, it may develop faster in individuals with weaker immune systems.

10.

Is Cervical Cancer a Serious Condition?

Cervical cancer, if left untreated, can spread to other body parts, making the condition severe. It can be difficult to cure if identified at a later stage. The abnormal changes can take years to become invasive cancer cells.

11.

At What Stage the Cervical Cancer Be Cured?

Stage 1 is mainly confined to the cervix and is considered curable. Stage 1 cervical cancer can be cured in patients through radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy. It is easy to treat cervical cancer in stage 1.

12.

Which Cancer Consist of the Lowest Survival Rate?

The cancers with the lowest survival rate are pancreatic cancer, mesothelioma, and brain cancer. The highest five-year survival is seen in patients with melanoma of the skin, testicular cancer, and prostate cancer. Unfortunately, these cancers are estimated to have a lower survival rate, meaning life expectancy is less.

13.

Does the Cervix Initially Grow Back After the Conization?

Conization is also known as cone biopsy of the cervix; a surgical procedure performed when cancer spreads to the lymph nodes. The initial regeneration of the cervix is expected to happen six months after the excision, which is dependent on the cervical volume excised. The greater the cone and the less cervical tissue left, the less the degree of cervical regeneration.

14.

What Happens to the Body When the Person Suffers From Cervical Cancer?

The typical symptom of cervical cancer that occurs during cervical cancer is the spread of cancer to lymph nodes which may feel swollen or stiff. It can spread to the lymph nodes between the hip bone. However, the abnormal cells might take time to spread to other body parts.

15.

Can Cervical Cancer Be Cured?

Cervical cancer at an early stage is curable when treated with radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy. Advanced cervical cancer is harder to cure. The five-year survival rate from cervical cancer is about 66 percent.
Dr. Noela David Andrew David
Dr. Noela David Andrew David

Homeopathy

Tags:

cervical cancercervical conizationcryosurgeryhpvcauterization
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