Cervical Cancer (CA Cx) is the most common cancer in women in India. It is the cancer arising on the cervix which is the lower part of uterus commonly called the mouth or entry to the uterus the womb.
- Cause of most cancers is not known. However cancer of cervix is one exception.
- A virus Human Papillpma virus (HVP) is the causative agent in many cancers. This virus is sexually transmitted.
- Other high risk factors include early sexual contact, multiple sexual partners, poor personal hygiene and multiparity.
- Again unlike most cancers CA Cx produces some symptoms in early disease like increased vaginal discharge, contact bleeding (bleeding after intercourse), irregular spotting or bleeding.
- However this may remain totally symptom free.
- In advance cases heavy vaginal bleeding with pain and general ill health may be present.
- Fortunately CA Cx is one cancer which is preventable also.
- Lifestyle changes like improving personal hygiene delayed onset of sexual activity and limiting family size help to reduce the chances.
- However, the most important factor which has brought down the incidence of cervical cancer is routine check up and annual Pap Smear.
- Fortunately a very effective, simple and cheap method is available for the detection of CA Cx in the precancerous stage. If detected at this stage treatment is successful in 100 % of cases and with conservation of uterus and reproductive function.
- Diagnosis of CA Cx is based on clinical examination by an experienced gynaecologist, a Pap Smear test and a biopsy.
- Biopsy or tissue diagnosis is a must in all cases.
- In every early cases (microinvasive and preinvasive stages) simple hysterectomy (removal of uterus) may suffice.
- In stage Ist and early stage IInd extended hysterectomy call wurthiem?s operation may be done.
- Alternatively all cases of CA Cx can be treated very effective with radiotherapy.
- Involves application of ionizing radiation to the affecting area thus killing the cancer growth.
- Success rates depend upon the stage of the disease. In stage I ? II cure rates form 80 to 100 % can be achived.
- Even in advanced disease good success can be achieved with appropriate therapy.