Cervical cancer is a major cause of suffering and premature death among women in developing countries. China and India account for 35% of the global cervical cancer burden with India contributing to 97,000 cases and 60,000 deaths in 2018. Cervical cancer is a highly preventable disease if diagnosed earlier at a long pre-malignant phase through regular screening. Unfortunately in India, there is a lack of awareness about the screening and the disease itself.
What is Cervical Cancer?
This is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. The normal cells of the cervix first gradually develop abnormal changes that are called pre-cancerous. The goal of cervical cancer screening is to find pre-cancer or cancer early when it is more treatable and curable. Regular screening can prevent cervical cancers and save lives. The main types of cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer cases.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
Early-stage cervical cancer generally produces no signs or symptoms. At advanced stages the below symptoms can be seen:
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods, or after menopause
- Watery, bloody vaginal discharge
- Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse
Risk factors of Cervical Cancer
The risk factors for cervical cancer include:
- Multiple sexual partners
- Early sexual activity
- Other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- A weakened immune system
Prevention of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that’s almost totally preventable. The preventive screenings for cervical cancer include the HPV vaccine and the Pap smear test. Pre-cancerous changes can be detected by the pap smear test and treated to prevent cancer from developing. The HPV vaccine is taken at an early age and helps prevent HPV infection. Here are a few tips to reduce your risk of cervical cancer:
- Take the HPV vaccine
- Be regular with your pap smear tests
- Practice safe sex
- Quit smoking
Know about the Pap smear test
This test is a screening procedure often used to test for cervical cancer in women. It helps reveal changes in the cervical cells that may turn into cancer later. Regular screening after crossing 21 years of age helps to find the growth of cancerous cells in the cervix at an early stage. Cervical cancer detected early can be cured with appropriate treatments.
Know about the HPV vaccine
Most cervical cancers spread through sexual contact and are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV vaccine can prevent most cases of cervical cancer if given before a girl or woman is exposed to the virus. It is highly recommended for young girls.
Cervical Cancer care at KDAH
The team of specialists at our Centre for Cancer provides high-quality, evidence-based comprehensive and personalised care for cervical cancer. They offer all aspects of cancer care from prevention, screening and early detection, advanced imaging (including PET CT) to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy all under one roof. We understand that each woman with Gynaecological Cancer has unique medical and emotional needs. Our highly qualified oncologists provide precise stepwise, goal directed treatment, and are supported by cutting edge technology. Please find below the link for our website: