Cervical cancer occurs in the cells of the cervix in the lowermost part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing cervical cancer. When exposed to HPV, the body's immune system typically prevents the virus from harming. However, in a small percentage of people, the virus survives for years causing some cervical cells to become cancerous cells. The risk of developing cervical cancer can be reduced by having screening tests and receiving a vaccine that protects against HPV infection.
Causes of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer begins when healthy cells in the cervix develop changes in their DNA. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor. Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can break off from a tumor to spread elsewhere in the body. Long-lasting infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sexual intercourse.
The other causes of cervical cancer include immune system deficiency, oral contraceptives, herpes, age, and socio-economic factors. Sexually active women are at a higher risk for developing cervical cancer as intense sexual activity potentially exposes them to HPV. Women who have never been sexually active rarely develop cervical cancer.
Initial symptoms of cervical cancer
Some of the initial symptoms of cervical cancer are longer and heavier menstrual bleeding, increased vaginal discharge, and pain during sexual intercourse, light bleeding between periods, bleeding after menopause, unexplained pelvic or back pain, backache, or swelling in the legs. Fatigue, loss of weight and appetite, a general feeling of illness, a swollen abdomen, nausea, and vomiting.
In the early stages, cervical cancer causes no pain or other symptoms. This makes it important for women to get regular pelvic exams and Pap tests to detect cancer in its earliest stage when it is treatable. Any vaginal bleeding after menopause should be brought to the doctor's attention without delay. Pelvic pain can be felt anywhere in the abdomen below the navel. Many women describe pelvic pain as a dull ache that may include sharp pains as well. Pain may be intermittent or constant and is typically worse during or after intercourse. Vaginal discharge may be pale, watery, brown, or red.
There are different stages of cervical cancer:
In stage one cancer has grown into the cervix, but it hasn't spread to lymph nodes or other organs.
In stage two cancer has spread outside of the cervix and uterus and may have reached the upper part of the vagina.
In stage three cancer has spread to the lower part of the vagina or the walls of the pelvis. It has not spread to nearby lymph nodes.
In stage four cancer has spread to other parts of the body, like the bladder, rectum, lungs, or liver.
Cervical cancer treatment
Cervical cancer treatment include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Once cervical cancer is diagnosed, the concerned oncologist will work out a treatment plan after consultations with the patient.
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/what-are-the-causes-initial-symptoms-and-treatments-of-cerv