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Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer: Introduction

Cervical cancer is a common cancer of the female reproductive system, specifically the cervix of the uterus. Cervical cancer can be fatal if left untreated. The good news is that cervical is highly preventable and treatable if caught in its early stage.

The cervix is the organ that provides an opening between the vagina and the uterus. Cervical cancer develops when abnormal cells develop on the superficial layer of the cervix. This is called cervical dysplagia. When cervical dysplagia is not treated, it can grow and spread into the deeper tissues of the cervix, developing into cancer.

Risk factors for the development of cervical dysplagia and cervical cancer include exposure to specific strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is spread through sexual contact and can also cause genital warts.

Certain behaviors also increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. These include having sex at a young age, having unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, or having sex with a partner who has had multiple sex partners or been exposed to HPV. Other risk factors include smoking, having HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases, or taking certain medications, such as DES or drugs that suppress the immune system.

Cervical dysplagia and cervical cancer in their early stages often produce no symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, bloody vaginal discharge, pain during sexual intercourse, pelvic pain and lower back pain. For more information about symptoms, refer to symptoms of cervical cancer.

Most deaths due to cervical cancer can be prevented through cervical cancer screening using a test called a Pap smear. A pap smear, which is performed during a pelvic examination, can detect cervical dysplagia at an early, very curable stage before it progresses into cervical cancer. Another test is the HPV DNA test, which can determine if a woman is infected with HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer.

If a Pap smear is positive for cervical dysplagia or cancerous cells, other tests are performed to confirm a diagnosis of cervical cancer. These include colposcopy to closely examine the cervix and a cervical biopsy to take a sample of the abnormal cells to be examined. A cone biopsy takes a deeper sample of the cervical tissue.

Because there may be no symptoms of cervical cancer, seeking medical care and getting a diagnosis can be delayed. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of cervical cancer.

Treatment of cervical cancer varies, depending on the individual case and the stage of cancer. Cervical dysplagia or cervical cancer in its early stages may be treated using a variety of outpatient procedures, such as laser surgery, LEEP, or cryosurgery. For more advanced cervical cancer, treatment is more involved and may include hysterectomy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of cervical cancer. ...more »

Cervical Cancer: Cancer of the cervix, a very common kind of cancer in women, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of the cervix ... more about Cervical Cancer.

Cervical Cancer: Cervical cancer is malignant cancer of the cervix uteri or cervical area. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Cervical Cancer is available below.

Cervical Cancer: Symptoms

Cervical cancer often produces no symptoms in its earliest stages. When symptoms do occur, they may indicate that cervical cancer has progressed to more advanced stages. The primary symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding that occurs after sex, after menopause or between menstrual periods. Other symptoms may include a foul-smelling and bloody vaginal discharge, and pain during sexual intercourse. ...more symptoms »

Cervical Cancer: Treatments

The first step in the treatment of cervical cancer is prevention. Although guidelines vary, it is often recommended that teenage girls and women begin having regular Pap smear screening tests within three years of becoming sexually active or no later than age 21. Prevention also includes abstaining from sex or having sex only within the framework of a monogamous relationship, in which neither ...more treatments »

Cervical Cancer: Misdiagnosis

Because many women have no symptoms of cervical cancer in its early stages, it is easy to miss a diagnosis of the condition when it is easily treatable and most curable. Cervical cancer diagnosed in its later stages requires far more intensive treatment with far more serious side effects. Untreated or late stage cervical cancer can be fatal.

In ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Treatments for Cervical Cancer

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Cervical Cancer:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Cervical Cancer?

Cervical Cancer: Related Patient Stories

Cervical Cancer: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Cervical Cancer.

Alternative Treatments for Cervical Cancer

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Cervical Cancer may include:

Types of Cervical Cancer

  • ASCUS: atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance
  • LSIL: low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
  • HSIL: high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
  • more types...»

Diagnostic Tests for Cervical Cancer

Test for Cervical Cancer in your own home

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Cervical Cancer: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Cervical Cancer:

Causes of Cervical Cancer

More information about causes of Cervical Cancer:

Disease Topics Related To Cervical Cancer

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Cervical Cancer:

Cervical Cancer: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Cervical Cancer

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Cervical Cancer: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Cervical Cancer

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Cervical Cancer:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Cervical Cancer, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Cervical Cancer: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Latest Treatments for Cervical Cancer

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Cervical Cancer

Medical research articles related to Cervical Cancer include:

Click here to find more evidence-based articles on the TRIP Database

Cervical Cancer: Animations

Prognosis for Cervical Cancer

Prognosis for Cervical Cancer: It depends on the stage of the cancer

Research about Cervical Cancer

Visit our research pages for current research about Cervical Cancer treatments.

Clinical Trials for Cervical Cancer

The US based website ClinicalTrials.gov lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov for Cervical Cancer include:

Prevention of Cervical Cancer

Prevention information for Cervical Cancer has been compiled from various data sources and may be inaccurate or incomplete. None of these methods guarantee prevention of Cervical Cancer.

Statistics for Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer: Broader Related Topics

Cervical Cancer Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Cervical Cancer, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Cervical Cancer

Cancer of the cervix, a very common kind of cancer in women, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of the cervix. The cervix is the opening of the uterus (womb). It connects the uterus to the vagina (the birth canal). Cancer of the cervix usually grows slowly over a period of time. Before cancer cells are found on the cervix, the tissues of the cervix go through changes in which abnormal cells begin to appear (a condition called dysplasia). Later, cancer starts to grow and spread more deeply into the cervix and to surrounding areas. (Source: excerpt from Cervical Cancer: NWHIC)

Definitions of Cervical Cancer:

Primary or metastatic malignant neoplasm involving the cervix. --2003 - (Source - Diseases Database)

Cervical Cancer is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Cervical Cancer, or a subtype of Cervical Cancer, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

 

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