There is an increase in cancer rates in today’s population. Various types of cancer have emerged. One such kind of cancer discussed below is Cervix Cancer. Cervix cancer is also known as Cervical Cancer, affects the uterus specifically the entrance of the uterus which is narrow and known as the cervix. The cervix is the lower end of the uterus which contacts with the upper vagina. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the major cause of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer differs from other cancers occurring in the uterus ( for example endometrium cancer).
In this article:
11 Early Signs and Symptoms of Cervix Cancer
Causes of Cervical Cancer
Cancer, as we know results from uncontrolled division and growth of the abnormal cells. Most of the cells have fixed lifespan and eventually, when they die, they are replaced by a new set of cells whereas abnormal cells are immortal and keep on dividing. This division leads to the formation of a lump or tumor.
Following are the risk factors which may be associated with the risk of development of cervical cancer :
Human papillomavirus as mentioned earlier is the major cause of cervical cancer. It is a sexually transmitted virus.
Multiple Sexual Partners
Women having multiple sexual partners have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
Birth Control Pills
Long-term usage of such pills raises the risk of cervical cancer.
It also increases the chances of cervical as well as other cancers.
Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases
In low-income area rates are higher for cervical cancer due to poor hygiene conditions.
Symptoms and Signs of Cervix Cancer
In the initial stage of cervical cancer, no symptom may be experienced. As a result, it is advised to go for a regular Pap test or Cervical Smear tests. Pap test is a preventive measure also.
Most common symptoms are :
Changes in Breast Size
Regular checkups are necessary for leading a healthy life. Every lump is not cancerous but following changes are major concern for doctor visits –
- Nipples which turn inwards
- Puckering skin
- Nipple discharge
- Itching and scaling of the nipple.
In Between Period Bleeding
Such kind of bleeding is not normal and is even considered a sign of abnormality.
Lymph Nodes Changes
The small bean-shaped lymph node change and swell up. In cancer like malignancy, they also become tender.
Constant bloating can be a sign of cancer which includes breast, colon or uterine.
Blood in Urine or Faeces
Bloody stool is usually due to hemorrhoids and bloody urine is the first sign of bladder or renal cell cancer.
Weight Loss without Trying
Huge loss in weight without any reason can be a cause of cervix cancer.
Fever without cause and which cannot be relieved is a sign of cancer.
Abdominal Pain and Depression
Though this can be due to cancer in the pancreas still doctor visit is recommended.
Sometimes on inspection of the cervix, the doctor may observe new spots.
Usually, cancers are painless but in cancers of the bone, brain the pain is unbearable.
Cervix Cancer Stages
Staging is used to assess the spread of cancer. Mostly common there is 4 stage system employed.
Stage 0: Precancerous cells are seen.
Stage 1: Cancer cell grows from their surface to deep inside other tissues of the cervix mainly lymph nodes.
Stage 2: Cancer has now moved further beyond the cervix and uterus to the lower part of the vagina. This may affect the nearby lymph nodes.
Stage 3: These cells have now moved further to the walls of the pelvis which may block the ureters while not affecting the lymph nodes.
Stage 4: These cells have now affected the bladder or rectum and moving out of the pelvis to spread to distant organs such as the liver, bones, lungs and lymph nodes.
Treatment for Cervix Cancer
In today’s scientific world, humans have developed many treatment techniques such as surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy. Surgery is the most basic and common treatment in the initial stage of cervical cancer.
Radiation Therapy – It involves the use of high-frequency X-rays to destroy cancer cells.
Chemotherapy – Medication is employed to treat cancer. These chemical medications usually target to destroy the cancerous cells.
Cervical Cancer can be prevented by employing various preventive measures. Maintaining proper hygiene, avoiding multiple sexual partners and regular medical checkups ensure the health of the person.