Cervical cancer is a form of cancer that is most common in women who have had a certain form of cervical dysplasia for several years and have not been treated for it. Cervical cancer is accompanied by two major symptoms. The first is a watery, bloody discharge, which can be very abundant and unpleasant smelling. Another major symptom is bleeding from the vagina in the period between menstruation, after menopause or after intercourse. In the advanced stage of the disease, there is a severe back pain and generally a bad health condition.
Although this is one of the most common forms of cancer in women, cervical cancer is not a common disease, and only one women out of 80 is treated from it. The disease usually occurs in women who are older than 40.
Untreated cervical cancer may spread to nearby organs and, in time, be lethal. However, if it is discovered and treated early, this form of cancer can be successfully and completely cured (which is not the case with most other cancers).
What to do?
Regularly go to the doctor for vaginal examination and cervical smear. This will allow the doctor to detect early forms of cervical dysplasia that could cause cervical cancer. In that case, dysplasia is treated in order to reduce the risk of possible cancer.
Any woman who observes the symptoms mentioned must go to the doctor. In many cases the symptoms may be due to relatively minor illnesses, such as cervical polyps, but it is not advisable to risk anything. If a doctor suspects you have cancer, he will refer you to a gynecologist for examination, cervical smear and cervical biopsy to determine the presence of cancer.
Cervical cancer is treated by removing the cervix with the entire uterus, ovaries and the fallopian tube and/or with radiotherapy. Radiotherapy usually involves radium capsules that are placed in the formation, two or three times between 18 and 36 hours, usually before surgery. Radiation (from the outside) of the lower abdomen can also be applied.
The choice of treatment comes after extensive talk with the patient. If the cancer did not spread outside the uterus, prospects for total healing are good – much better than with most other forms of cancer. However, due to treatment, the patient will not be able to get pregnant because the radiotherapy will cause ovaries to stop ”working”, even when the sex organs are not removed. In younger women, treatment may cause some symptoms of menopause, which may need to be treated (see menopause). After the treatment of cancer, regular controls and examinations are required during the next five years (approximately).