Cervical cancers are fourth most common cancer in woman around the world. Cervix is the lower most of the uterus and cancer arises from internal lining of the cervix due to chronic infection or chronic trauma causing irritation and change in lining of the cervix. Cervical cancers carry important concern for woman as very often the early symptoms are mistaken with chronic infections of vagina and cervix.
Common causes and risk factors for cervical cancers
1)Chronic HPV virus infection
2) poor hygiene and lower socioeconomic economic people carry more risk
3) multiple sexual partners and unhealthy sexual practices.
4) females with frequent miscarriage and multiple pregnancies.
5) chronic fungal infections
Common symptoms of cervical cancers
- abnormal vaginal discharge
- Excessive bleeding during menses
- Excessive post coital bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Frequent vaginal infections
Diagnosis and investigations
These symptoms should not be ignored by females and they should consult there gynaecologist/ clinician immediately for treatment. The clinician usually examines and take PAP Smears and HPV DNA tests are recommended initially. In case of high suspicion of cancer, gynaecologist will usually do biopsies of the cervical lesions to confirm the diagnosis.
Magnetic resonance imaging ( MRI) pelvis are done to know the site , size and extent of the lesion in local area. CECT ( contract enhanced computerised tomography) abdomen are done to assess spread in the abdominal cavity.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed the treatment protocol is planned by surgeons and cancer physicians in best interest of patients. Surgery ( Hysterectomy, radical hysterectomy, isolate removal of cervix ) remains the common surgeries. These surgeries can be performed by minimal access( laparoscopic/ robotic surgery) and conventional open surgeries.
The extent of surgery usually depend upon the extent of the disease. Intralesional radiotherapy ( Brachytherapy) or external radiotherapy are used kill the cancer cells locally and reduce the size of the tumours. Chemotherapy acts an adjunct to the treatment to prevent and kill the cancer cells in the body depending upon the stage of the disease.
Recovery after surgery
The hospital stay after surgery is usually 1-5 days depending upon the extent of surgery. The recovery after surgery is rapid and patients need to consult there clinician for further medications and check up.
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