WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER?
A common but treatable and preventable cancer of the
(the lower third of the uterus, which opens into the vagina).
Women of all ages, but most common between ages 30 and
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
In the early, easily treatable stages:
In later stages:
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding.
- Persistent vaginal discharge.
- Pain and bleeding after intercourse.
In final stages:
- Abdominal pain.
- Leaking of faeces and urine through the vagina.
- Appetite and weight loss.
RISK INCREASES WITH
- Frequent sexual intercourse during the teen years.
- Multiple sex partners.
- Multiple pregnancies.
- Recurrent vaginal infections (bacterial or viral,
including genital herpes and genital warts).
HOW TO PREVENT
- Avoid the risks listed above as much as possible.
- Begin periodic pelvic examinations at the beginning of
regular sexual activity, or latest by age 30.
- Obtain regular Pap smear.
Regular pelvic examinations and the Pap smear are very effective in detecting precancerous
changes or cervical cancer in its symptom-free stage. Consult your doctor, about how often
to be examined. Many charitable agencies may be offering a Pap smear at little or no cost.
- Observation of symptoms especially unexplained vaginal
- History and physical exam by a doctor.
- Laboratory studies, such as a Pap smear and biopsy.
- Surgical diagnostic procedures, such as Conization of the cervix.
If cervical cancer is not treated early, it spreads
beyond the uterus to other body parts and is fatal.
Usually curable if diagnosed before the tumor has spread.
- Surgery to remove the cancerous area. During early stages,
this may only involve a small area of the cervix, which preserves childbearing abilities.
More advanced stages may require removal of the reproductive organs and other affected
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy in advanced cases.
Medicine usually is not necessary for this disorder, if
it is diagnosed and treated early. If radical surgery and additional treatment are
required, one may be prescribed:
- Anticancer drugs.
- Pain relievers.
No special diet.
CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY, IF
- You have persistent vaginal bleeding or other symptoms of
- You have not had a pelvic examination or Pap smear in at least last 1 year.