Cervical cancer is one of the most common malignant conditions in women and has large geographic variations (8-30 per 100,000 women), which is explained by the difference in health systems and prevention programs.
Cervical cancer occurs in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus and also the connection between the vagina and the uterus. Depending on the type of cells the cancer attacks, we can have two types of cervical cancer:
- squamous carcinoma – occurs in the thin squamous layer of cells of the cervix that is directed towards the vagina;
- adenocarcinoma – occurs in the cells of the cervical canal.
When the body is exposed to the HPV virus, the immune system prevents the virus from spreading and causing more damage. In a small percentage of patients, the virus lingers long enough to cause some cervical cells to become cancerous.
The biggest risk factor for this disease is long-term infection with the oncogenic (high-risk) HPV virus. Oncogenic HPV is present in 99% of cases of cervical cancer patients.
Smoking also increases the risk.
Irregular bleeding, bloody discharge, bleeding after intercourse and bleeding during pregnancy are symptoms of cervical cancer.
Pain occurs in an advanced stage of the disease. The diagnosis is made by clinical examination, radiological methods and biopsy. It is treated surgically, with radiation and cytostatics.
You can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by having frequent screenings (including a pap smear) and by protecting yourself from sexually transmitted diseases.
For all information about cervical cancer and other gynecological issues, contact us on our phone numbers on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or write us an email.