Cervical Cancer Early Detection
The uterus is a pear-shaped organ in the abdomen of thewoman in which the unborn child grows up to birth. The uterus consists of twosections: the uterine body (corpus uteri) and the cervix (cervix uteri). In theuterus, two different types of cancer can develop: uterine cancer originatesfrom the mucous lining inside the uterine body; Cervical cancer develops fromthe cells of the cervix.
Uterus and adjacent organs
1. Fallopian tube 2. Ovary 3. Uterus 4. Scab 5. Cervical cavity 6. Uterus body (muscular layer) 7. Uterine mucosa (endometrium) 8. Cervix
Cervical Cancer risk factors
The most important risk factor for cervical cancer is infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Some types of HPV can cause tissue changes that can develop into cervical cancer.
Other factors can further increase the risk of disease:
- Intercourse at a very young age and frequently changing sexual partners
- Additional genital infections due to sexually transmitted pathogens (eg, genital herpes)
- A chronic disorder of the immune system (eg HIV infection or certain medications that suppress the immune system)
Cervical Cancer Prevention and early detection
The use of condoms during sexual intercourse can lower the risk of infection with HPV. There is also a vaccine that protects against the most dangerous HPV.
The cancer smear is used for the early detection of cervical cancer. With this test , precursors of cervical cancer can already be detected.
Cervical Cancer complaints
Cervical cancer usually causes hardly any complaints for a long time. Atypical vaginal bleeding – for example, between menstruations, after sexual intercourse, or after the onset of menopause – may be a first indication.
Cervical Cancer diagnosis
For diagnosis, a swab of the cervix and the examination of the vagina and cervix. In case of abnormal findings tissue samples are taken.
Once the tumor has progressed, the use of additional imaging techniques may be useful, such as magnetic resonance imaging.
If the cancer is still at a very early stage, only the affected part of the cervix is removed. In more advanced stages, the uterus usually needs to be completely removed; sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This means that the affected woman can no longer have children. Sometimes, after the operation, radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy may be added.