Cancer Essay

Cervical cancer is a disease in which the cells of the cervix become abnormal and start to grow uncontrollably, forming tumors. The cervix is the lower part or neck of the uterus. It connects the body of the uterus to the vagina. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. This type of cancer originates in the thin, flat, squamous cells on the surface of the ectocervix, the part of the cervix that is next to the vagina. The other kind is of the adenocarcinoma type.

This cancer originates in the mucus-producing cells of the inner or endocervix, near the body of the uterus. Occasionally, the cancer may have characteristics of both types and is called adenosquamous carcinoma or mixed carcinoma. Older women are at the highest risk for cervical cancer. Although girls under the age of 15 rarely develop this cancer, the risk factor begins to increase in the late teens. Infection with the common human papilloma virus (HPV) is a cause of almost all cervical cancers. There are more than 80 types of HPV.

These types can be transmitted sexually, including those that cause genital warts. Most women do not have symptoms of cervical cancer until it has become persistent. At that point, the symptoms may include: unusual vaginal discharge, light vaginal bleeding or spots of blood outside of normal menstruation, pain or vaginal bleeding with sexual intercourse, post-menopausal vaginal bleeding. Once the cancer has invaded the tissue surrounding the cervix, a woman may experience pain in the pelvic region and heavy bleeding from the vagina.

The most common detection method of cervical cancer is having a Pap smear done. However the Pap test is more of a screening method rather that a diagnostic tool. It is very efficient at detecting cervical abnormalities. A number of factors other than cervical cancer can cause abnormalities, including inflammation from bacteria or yeast infections. Another test use in diagnosis of cervical cancer is a biopsy. This is done once an abnormal pap test is obtained. The name of the test is a colposcopy. There are also other types of cervical biopsies that may be performed.

These are; Endocervical curettage which is a biopsy in which a narrow instrument called a curette is used to scrape tissue from inside the opening of the cervix. A cone biopsy, or conization, is another method used to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix. In a cold knife cone biopsy, a surgical scalpel or laser is used to remove the tissue. Those are just to name a few. Following a diagnosis of cervical cancer, various procedures may be used to determine how far the cancer has spread. For example, additional pelvic exams may be performed under anaesthesia.

Cystoscopy is another method use in detecting if the cancer has spread to the urinary tract. Other diagnoses are sigmoidoscopy which is similar to cystoscopy. It is used to determine whether the cancer has spread to the rectum or lower large intestine and Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scans, ultrasound, or other imaging techniques may be used to determine the spread of cancer to various parts of the body. With a CT scan, an x-ray beam rotates around the body, taking images from various angles. It is used to determine if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses a magnetic field to image the body, sometimes is used for evaluating the spread of cervical cancer. Chest x rays may be used to detect cervical cancer that has spread to the lungs. Subsequently in a diagnosis of cervical cancer, the physician takes a medical history and performs a complete physical examination. This includes an evaluation of symptoms and risk factors for cervical cancer. The lymph nodes are examined for evidence that the cancer has spread from the cervix.

The choice of treatment depends on the clinical stage of the disease. In addition to the stage of the cancer, factors such as a woman’s age, general health, and preferences may influence the choice of treatment. The exact location of the cancer within the cervix and the type of cervical cancer also are important considerations. The types of treatment that are used by doctors are, cold knife cone biopsy, cryosurgery (freezing the cells with a metal probe), cauterization or diathermy (burning off the cells) and laser surgery (burning off the cells with a laser beam).

Sometimes a surgery such as a hysterectomy in which the uterus is removed is done. If the recurrent cancer has spread to other organs, radiation or chemotherapy may be used to alleviate some of the symptoms. This is where either a high dose of radiation is use to kill the cancer cell or a combination of drugs which is given to kill the cancer cells as well. Cervical cancer can be preventable. Since most times cervical cancer especially HPV is transmitted through sexual contact, it is important to know how one can protect oneself from contracting it.

For instances, having multiple sexual partners, sexual partners who have had multiple partners (“high-risk males”) and a partner who has had a previous sexual partner with cervical cancer put you in a high risk position of the chances of getting cancer. Smoking may also double the risk of cervical cancer. Chemicals produced by tobacco smoke can damage the DNA of cervical cells. The risk increases with the number of years a woman smokes and the amount she smokes. In addition diet and type of drugs taken should also be taken into consideration as depending on what you take in can sometimes contribute to cancer.

These factors can all be avoidable and most importantly having a pap test done is one of the best ways of detecting and preventing cancer, so it is better to be safe than sorry and have regular checkups and pap examinations. In conclusion, most cervical cancers are preventable, and in recent years there has been at least a 75% decrease in mortality due to the fact that routine screening of Pap tests (Pap smear) is being done to identify precancerous and early-invasive stages of cervical cancer. With treatment, these conditions have a cure rate of nearly100%. Mostly women over age 65 account for 40-50% of all deaths from cervical cancer.

However with the increase awareness programmes, and the continued pap test done and is available even in mobile units, has been proven to be beneficial as most cases are being caught early, hence the mortality rate has decrease significantly.

REFRENCES “Cancer of the Cervix. ” CancerNet. 12 Dec. 2000. National Cancer Institute. NIH Publication No. 95-2047. 3 Apr. 2001. > http://cancernet. nci. nih. gov/wyntk_pubs/cervix. htm#2> . “Cervical Cancer. ” Cancer Resource Center. American Cancer Society. 16 Mar. 2000. 3 Apr. 2001. <http://www3. cancer. org/cancerinfo/load_cont. asp? ct=8&doc=25&Language= English>.

Cervical cancer is a cancer that starts in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus, which opens at the top of the vagina. It occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. Cervical cancer can often …

Cervical cancer is a cancer that starts in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus, which opens at the top of the vagina. It occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. Cervical cancer can often …

Many women do not take breast cancer or cervical cancer serious, by getting screened, until the disease has begun to develop or has spread. Cervical cancer use to be the main cause of deaths caused by cancer for women, but …

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet still remains the world’s third leading cancer killer in woman. All women are at risk for cervical cancer, and there is a higher occurrence in women over age thirty. Prevalence …

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