What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervix is the part of the female reproductive system that connects the vaginal canal to her uterus. Cancer that develops in the cells of the woman’s cervix is known as cervical cancer. Cancer cervix can metastasize (spread to other parts) such as the lungs, uterus, vagina and rectum.
Infection with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common cause of cervical cancer.
Note: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus. Infection from the HPV virus can be prevented by vaccinating women against this virus at an early age. If it is given before the female gets exposed to the virus, therefore, it can protect the cancers of the vagina and vulva. It can also prevent genital warts and anal cancers.
Interestingly, educating boys and vaccinating them against the strains of HPV can help reduce the transmission.
Common Treatment Methods For Cervical Cancer In India
There are several methods to treat cervical cancer in India, which include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy. The type of treatment that should be used depends upon various factors such as the size of the tumour, the physical condition of the patient, the location of the tumour and the availability of the treatment method. The types of commonly used methods to treat cervical cancer are given below:
Surgery is one of the commonly used procedures for treating cervical cancer (of course, with respect to the stage of cancer). A gynecologic oncologist is a doctor who specialises in using surgery to treat cancer in the female reproductive system.
During surgery, the tumour and some of the surrounding healthy tissue are removed. The following techniques are frequently performed for cervical cancer that has not progressed beyond the cervix:
- Conization – It is a procedure for removing micro-invasive malignancy from the cervix that can only be seen under a microscope.
- LEEP – A thin wire hook is used to pass an electrical current through. The tissue is removed by the hook. It can be used to remove micro-invasive cervical cancer.
- Hysterectomy – The uterus and cervix are removed. It can be a basic or radical hysterectomy. The uterus and cervix are removed in a basic hysterectomy. Several parts of female reproductive organs such as the uterus, cervix, upper vagina, and tissue around the cervix all can be removed during a radical hysterectomy.
- Salpingo-oophorectomy – This procedure involves the removal of both fallopian tubes and both ovaries, if necessary. It is performed concurrently with a hysterectomy.
- Trachelectomy – A surgical treatment that removes the cervix but leaves the uterus intact. Dissection of the lymph nodes in the pelvis is part of the procedure.
- Exenteration – If cervical cancer has spread to other organs after radiation therapy such as the uterus, vagina, lower intestine, rectum, or bladder then they may be removed. This is a treatment that is rarely suggested.
Radiation Therapy is another popularly used treatment option. It is done as one, external radiation therapy and two, brachytherapy which means the insertion of radioactive sources near the tumour for time intervals. If the female desires to conceive, freezing the eggs is a popular option practised.
Low doses of chemicals that can kill cancer cells are injected. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy work as adjuvants. A combination treatment is practised for advanced stages of cancer.
Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that stimulates the body’s natural defence mechanisms. It is also known as biological therapy. It helps in restoring the body’s immune system and improves functions by using the body’s own immune system simultaneously with those prepared in the laboratory.
How to get Treatment for Cervical Cancer?
Just like other types of cancers, cervical cancer is a treatable one. Cancer Rounds provides personal care from the day of consultation throughout the treatment.
Our constant efforts are focused to create awareness and help as many females suffering from cervical cancer as possible. Break the barriers and talk them out with our doctors.