The name of the lower part of your uterus connecting it to the vagina is the cervix. If cancer develops in the cells of your cervix, it is called cervical cancer. Behind most cervical cancers, human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted infection, has a major role. The HPV virus manages to survive in a few women and ultimately cause some cervical cells to become cancerous. If you undergo screening tests and take vaccination that protects against HPV infection, you will have less risk of developing cervical cancer.
There are rarely any signs or symptoms while cervical cancer is at an early stage. As it reaches an advanced stage, there are different symptoms including:
- After intercourse, between periods or after menopause there is bleeding from the vagina.
- There is a watery or bloody discharge from the vagina, which is heavy and has a foul order.
- During intercourse, there is pain or pelvic pain.
You should not neglect these symptoms and should consult a cancer doctor in Kolkata.
When there are changes (mutations) in the DNA of the healthy cells in the cervix, cervical cancer develops. The DNA of a cell contains the instructions that tell the cell what to do. The cells start to multiply and grow uncontrollably when there are mutations. This ultimately leads to the formation of a tumour. It becomes more dangerous when cancer cells break off from a tumour and spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body. Cancer cells also invade nearby tissues. HPV is a major factor behind the development of this type of cancer.
The diagnosis and treatment by the best oncologist in Kolkata depend on the type of cervical cancer you have. It is of two types.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: The lining in the outer part of the cervix is covered by thin, flat cells (squamous cells). Cancer that develops in this area is known as squamous cell carcinoma.
- Adenocarcinoma: The origin of this type is in the column-shaped glandular cells lining the cervical canal.
Cervical cancer in some cases involves both types of cells.
A cancer specialist in Kolkata will thoroughly examine your cervix for any abnormality. He/she may also suggest some diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of cervical cancer. Some diagnostic tests are:
Pap test: The doctor will collect cell samples from your cervix and send them to a laboratory for finding out any abnormalities.
HPV DNA test: In order to find out any HPV infection in the cells from your cervix, they are properly examined.
In order to treat cervical cancer, the oncologist uses surgery, radiation or chemotherapy or a combination of the three. It can be possible to remove entire cancer with a cone biopsy for very small cervical cancer. The surgeon keeps the rest of the cervix intact and cuts away only a cone-shaped piece of cervical tissue. A radical trachelectomy procedure may also be effective in the treatment of early-stage cervical cancer as it involves the removal of the cervix and some surrounding tissue. The radical hysterectomy option helps the surgeon in removing the cervix, uterus, part of the vagina and nearby lymph nodes during the treatment of cervical cancer. The other treatment options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.