Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cervix of a woman which is the entrance to the vagina. It usually has no symptoms in its early stages. If symptoms do occur, they include abnormal vaginal bleeding which is rampant after sex, in between periods and after menopause.
However, having abnormal bleeding does not necessarily mean that you have contracted cervical cancer. However, it should be investigated by your doctor as soon as possible. If your doctor thinks that you have contracted the condition, then you should see a specialist immediately.
Over a period of years, the cells that form the lining on the surface of the cervix usually undergo a number of changes. In some cases the cells that were precancerous become cancerous. However, the change of the cells in the cervix can be detected at a very early stage thus treatment can be done.
Most cases of cervical cancer are usually caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus. HPV I a very common virus that may be transmitted through sexual contact with a man or woman. The virus has hundreds of types that are harmless. However, some types may cause changes in the cervix that can result in the development of cervical cancer.
If cervical cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it is possible to treat it through surgery. This may involve a hysterectomy whereby the womb is removed. In some cases, however, the womb does not have to be removed. An alternative for this form of treatment is radiotherapy. In most cases, it is usually used alongside surgery.
If cancer has advanced further, then it can be treated using a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, these treatments, though helpful, can have a number of significant long-lasting adverse effects such as infertility or early menopause.
Many women that contract cervical cancer will develop a number of complications. This may arise as a result of cancer or a side effect of the treatment that the woman is undergoing. Complications that are related to cervical cancer may range from relatively minor issues to very life-threatening complications. Some of these minor issues include minor bleeding from the vagina while the major issues include kidney failure and excessive bleeding.
According to research, it is possible for women of all ages to develop cervical cancer, though it mostly affects women aged between 30 and 45. If you find yourself with the symptoms that have been mentioned above, you should go for screening right away. It might just save your life.